UK proposals could fuel surge in energy storage

Under the proposals, the amount of taxpayer-backed debt would be the same for all U.K. energy businesses, including support for the market for electricity storage, which includes technologies such as Tesla’s battery system. The…

UK proposals could fuel surge in energy storage

Under the proposals, the amount of taxpayer-backed debt would be the same for all U.K. energy businesses, including support for the market for electricity storage, which includes technologies such as Tesla’s battery system.

The UK government is looking to revamp an existing scheme that has financed 30 power and gas plants over two decades, following Brexit and financial pressures on energy firms in the aftermath of the decision to leave the European Union.

The move comes amid criticism of government policies on energy policy by Prime Minister Theresa May, who has called for utilities to reform themselves and boost supply.

The so-called clean energy contract for difference scheme is intended to incentivise the installation of energy storage and to make the industry greener by offering a guaranteed price for plants once they are switched on.

The scheme currently awards contracts to projects in a hodgepodge of sectors, including offshore wind and biomass, but the government has been keen to standardise the contracts, hoping that it will drive down the costs of renewables and storage and provide a basis for other similar policies.

Supporting more energy storage will be the first part of the initiative, with the government releasing a consultation paper on Monday.

Under the proposals, the government is looking to revamp an existing scheme that has financed 30 power and gas plants over two decades, following Brexit and financial pressures on energy firms in the aftermath of the decision to leave the European Union.

The UK government is looking to revamp an existing scheme that has financed 30 power and gas plants over two decades, following Brexit and financial pressures on energy firms in the aftermath of the decision to leave the European Union.

The move comes amid criticism of government policies on energy policy by Prime Minister Theresa May, who has called for utilities to reform themselves and boost supply.

The so-called clean energy contract for difference scheme is intended to incentivise the installation of energy storage and to make the industry greener by offering a guaranteed price for plants once they are switched on.

The scheme currently awards contracts to projects in a hodgepodge of sectors, including offshore wind and biomass, but the government has been keen to standardise the contracts, hoping that it will drive down the costs of renewables and storage and provide a basis for other similar policies.

Supporting more energy storage will be the first part of the initiative, with the government releasing a consultation paper on Monday.

Under the proposals, the government is looking to standardise contracts for backup power and to open up existing schemes to manufacturers and developers of new generation and storage.

Under the plan, innovation will be encouraged with more competitive procurement of clean energy with the government setting up an Innovation Board to showcase new technology.

According to Matthew Davis, a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, the government’s new proposals are an attempt to “raise the level of realism” from the established scheme.

“While not perfect, the draft consultation document do seem to incorporate the most recent thinking on competitiveness,” Davis said.

In particular, the scheme is aimed at extending the economic life of existing plants through flexible contracts where production is guaranteed at pre-agreed levels, even if demand drops.

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