As the UK accelerates the green transition and reduces its reliance on fossil fuels, the Government has announced £6.7m in funding to projects across the country to support development of new energy storage technologies.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) revealed yesterday (23rd February) that 24 projects based across the UK have been awarded the first round of funding through the Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) competition – worth a total of £68m. 

Selected for their potential to reduce the cost of meeting Government net zero targets, in addition to accelerating technological development, successful projects could see passage through the second phase of the competition, which supports commercialisation and private investment. 

Greg Hands, Energy and Climate Change Minister commented on the announcement, saying, “Driving forward energy storage technologies will be vital in our transition towards cheap, clean and secure renewable energy.” 

He added that the projects will allow extraction of the full benefit from the UK’s ‘home-grown’ renewable energy sources, in turn driving down costs and ending the reliance on fossil fuels. 

“Through this competition we are making sure the country’s most innovative scientists and thinkers have our backing to make this ambition a reality,” he added. 

Energy storage projects funded under Phase 1 includes the Hydrilyte Refueller Prototype project, which is slated to be the world’s first pilot of safe and non-toxic hydrogen storage. 

Consisting of a consortium of various energy project contractors and developers, the prototype aims to demonstrate the ability to store and transport hydrogen before being used for the refuelling of hydrogen-powered vehicles at service stations. 

The project is currently addressing logistical issues relating to the transport of hydrogen to service stations. 

Due to the UK’s COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) regulations for dangerous goods, the storage of hydrogen gas in large volumes in non-industrial areas such as truck stops is currently prohibited. 

“This limitation on volume practically limits the number of trucks that a truck stop can service to around eight to 10 HGVs (heavy goods vehicles) per day.” 

“With around 500,000 HGVs on UK roads, compressed hydrogen simply doesn’t offer the scalability as a ‘Hub to Station’ hydrogen carrier.” 

He added that Hydrilite could help lead the world in the transition from diesel to hydrogen powered heavy vehicles by 2030. 

Other projects set to receive funding includes Cheesecake Energy’s FlexiTanker project, which aims to fast-track decarbonisation of the UK electricity system, and B9 Energy Storage’s Ballylumford Power-to-X project based in Northern Ireland.