The Electricity Storage Network has warned that delays in installing at least an additional 2GW of electricity storage by 2020 will result in costs of £100m a year for taxpayers and investors.
The alert came as DECC named the first two winners of its £20m energy storage competition with the ESN adding that failure to act would also cause a loss of value rising to £10bn a year by 2050.
It also said the UK’s installed electricity storage capacity is "currently less than half of what is required" to balance the onset of low carbon technologies onto the grid.
ESN director Anthony Price said: ““The funding prize for UK energy storage innovators is great news for the development companies who have been selected by DECC to demonstrate their technology at scale in the UK, yet these two early stage projects represent a combined capacity of less than 10MW.
“To stimulate the market, both for innovation and large scale implementation, government must set a target to achieve 2GW electricity storage by 2020 and support that with a market mechanism to drive innovation through to delivery.”
“The Energy Bill is seeking to attract £110bn of investment to bring about a once-in-a-generation transformation of our electricity market, yet the investment in a decarbonised power grid without adequate electricity storage will result in additional costs from network fees, curtailment and system balancing of the order of £100m a year.”
ESN said the slow deployment of electricity storage projects is “due to a lack of certainty within the electricity market, with no certainty of revenue, in stark comparison to other clean energy technologies”.
It also highlighted a trend for power storage outside the UK, including California's mandate for one-third renewables electricity by 2020 being supported by a storage target of 1300MW by 2020.
Elsewhere, the South Korean government recently announced plans to mandate energy storage and provide financial support for up to 50% of the system cost for small and medium-sized firms affected by the ruling.
Image: as it stands, the UK's grid will struggle to integrate low carbon generation (National Grid)