The Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan jointly published today by the UK trade ministry and industry regulator Ofgem, boosting the existing investment in smart technologies from £50m to £70m (approx €85m). This is in addition to the £246 million available from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for developing new battery manufacturing technology.
The plan lists actions under three separate areas, adddressing homes and bsiness, removing energy tarif barriers and creating energy markets that work efficiently. The section on removing barriers focuses significantly on removing policy and regulatory barriers to deployment of energy storage technologies, with a change in the law to explicitly define storage as a sub-set of generation. This, along with the easier planning permissoin ofor larger battery plants, would boost the roll out of battery-based storage systems above 20MW. Ofgem will consult on the structure of a modified generation licence for storage, with new licences introduced by Summer 2018.
The UK government will also work to understand network impacts of electric vehicles, looking at the the regulations, network and tariff implications of increased use of electric vehicles and to support trials of vehicle-to-grid charging.
“There is still much work to be done, but we are confident that together we can continue to promote energy storage’s critical role in supporting a smart and flexible electricity system,” said the UK Electricity Storage Network.