Energy entrepreneurs outside the traditional supply sector are turning to battery storage and winning four fifths of long-term battery contracts to provide grid services. The increased investment in battery storage from independent energy generators is set to increase commercial UK battery capacity 100 times by 2020, according to innovative energy company SmartestEnergy in their fifth annual Energy Entrepreneurs Report.

The report released today (4 May 2017) finds that independent generators have invested a total £2.75 billion in more than 6,400 projects with a combined capacity of 12.75GW, supplying 8.6 per cent of UK demand.

Iain Robertson, Vice President, Renewables at SmartestEnergy, a leading purchaser of electricity from independent renewable generators, said: “Energy entrepreneurs have demonstrated that they can build clean, renewable generation at scale, quickly and cost-effectively. To put their achievements in context, Hinkley Point C, which will power 6 million homes, is expected to cost £18 billion and take 10 years to build.

We call on the government to recognise the role renewables and storage can play in its forthcoming industrial strategy, and to allow them to compete with traditional generation on a level playing field.”

Storage will allow the UK’s energy system to accommodate growing amounts of renewable generation and help balance supply and demand, reducing the need for fossil fuel plants to provide expensive back-up power.