The UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) announced in late February that it has allocated GBP 6.7 million in funding to support the development of 24 projects under the first phase of its Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration Competition (LODES Competition). BEIS launched the competition last year as another initiative to accelerate the country’s energy transition process and foster the domestic development of energy storage technologies.
The 24 projects have been selected on account of their technological innovations and potential contributions to the goal of net zero. The range of technologies offered by these projects is fairly wide. Notable solution providers that have received funding include Sunamp and B9 Energy Storage. Sunamp has developed a proprietary phase-change material that functions as a thermal battery capable of delivering both heating and cooling. As for B9 Energy Storage, its Power-to-X project in Northern Ireland involves the production of green hydrogen and the storage of hydrogen in underground salt caverns. According to the press release from BEIS, the successful operation of Power-to-X could further spur the large-scale deployment of offshore wind turbines.
The UK government has allocated a total of GBP 68 million to the LODES Competition. The GBP 6.7 million funding for the first phase is to expedite the development of the selected projects. In the second phase, the selected projects will be judged in terms of technology readiness level. The projects that stand out will receive a larger portion of the remaining GBP 61.3 million. The demonstration projects with more funding awarded by the government will likely attract private investments that in turn lead to commercialization of their technologies and creation of new jobs.
Greg Hands, the UK’s Minister of Energy and Climate Change, said the deployment of energy storage technologies is critical in the country’s adoption of “cheap, clean, and secure renewable energy”. He added that the successful projects in the LODES Competition will allow Britons to “exact the full benefit” from domestic renewable generation assets, lower electricity prices, and wean the country off fossil fuels.