Business and Energy Secretary, The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, unveiled the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan jointly published by BEIS and Ofgem, which includes a number of important outcomes for the storage industry.

Over the last twelve to eighteen months, energy storage has increasingly become a buzz word in the sector, and a number of projects have been deployed as part of the National Grid EFR and Capacity Market auctions. However the positive impact that energy storage could have on energy use is much wider than this and the government has firmly thrown its weight behind energy storage by addressing a number of the barriers which have potentially prevented a large scale roll out of storage by removing key policy and regulatory barriers.

By addressing issues such as the definition for storage, the double charging of network costs and the planning regime, the government has paved a path for energy storage to be deployed on a much wider scale and over the coming months we would expect to see increased interest from clients looking a stand-alone projects and those who are looking to deploy behind the meter storage solutions to businesses and individual consumers. This is an extremely positive move which will be welcomed by the sector. Following months of news about the impact that the withdrawal of subsidies has had on the industry, it is reassuring to see the government give the renewables sector such a positive boost by getting behind a technology which could look to reinvigorate the sector.

The part storage can play in balancing the demand of business and individual consumers on the grid should not be under estimated. We are already seeing an increasing number of high end-users look at how storage can help curtail grid demand and this marks a positive step to ensuring that many more of these projects can move from the modelling phase and now become a reality. In addition, the news will be welcomed by developers and funders across the industry. The removal of key policy and regulatory barriers opens the door for storage to be deployed with existing renewables technologies on a co-location basis and for it to be used as a mechanism to make large-scale subsidy free projects viable. The plans to improve network connections and review health and safety standards are another indication that the government is taking the positive role that energy storage can play in balancing the demand on grid very seriously.

To read the full smart system and flexibility plan, click here.