Decc announces £20m innovation funding for electricity storage projects

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has unveiled two new competitions for £20 million in funding for "technology innovators" to boost developments in grid-scale batteries and other components of electricity storage.

Decc will open its Energy Storage Technology Demonstration Competition “in the next few weeks”. It will comprise one competition for large-scale storage demonstration projects and another for research and feasibility studies into storage systems and their components. A Decc spokesperson said it had yet to confirm the split of the £20 million funding between the two competitions. Decc anticipates the first projects will be underway early in 2013.

Decc said participants in the competitions will have the opportunity to win funding to “demonstrate innovative energy storage technologies which can address grid-scale storage needs for the UK electricity network in the run up to 2020 and beyond.”

The competitions follow Decc’s publication of a Technology Innovation Needs Assessment report in August on energy networks and storage which looked at alternatives to network reinforcement and fossil-fuelled system balancing. It estimated that network and storage technology could reduce costs by up to £19 billion and contribute up to £34 billion to the UK’s gross domestic product.