The government is seeking views on amendments to the treatment of energy storage within the planning system.
In the last consultation, it had been proposed that the 50 MW Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) capacity threshold should be retained for standalone storage facilities. However, following disagreement from respondents to the consultation, the government has changed its stance. This week's consultation proposes that electricity storage, with the exception of pumped hydro, be carved out of the NSIP regime in England and Wales.
In order to support the continuing decarbonisation of electricity generation, as well as decarbonisation of other sectors like transport and heat, energy storage will become more and more crucial, so removing obstacles in this way is a positive and pragmatic move by the government. The additional cost and uncertainty under the current regime for battery storage schemes that might be construed as falling within the DCO regime has certainly hindered progress in this important sector of the energy market.