The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) energy storage event on flexible networks, stronger consumers included Gowling WLG partner Gus Wood appearing as a speaker, where he talked about the regulatory barriers currently facing electricity storage projects, and the pros and cons of a licensing regime for electricity storage.

Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) recently published its plan for a smarter more flexible energy future. This provided a clear definition of electricity storage and also a plan to classify electricity storage as a sub-set of electricity generation. Wood’s speech at the APPG event therefore focused on the consequences of this recognition which will include:

  • there will be a prohibition on undertaking electricity storage in Great Britain, unless authorised to do so by licence or exemption;
  • subject to any changes made to the Class Exemption Order, sub-50MW projects will not need a licence;
  • holders of electricity storage licences will have additional obligations under the industry codes as compared to those without a licence;
  • holders of electricity storage licences will also enjoy some benefits, for example access to compulsory purchase powers and avoiding supplier charges for renewable incentive schemes (such as RO, FIT and CFD);
  • and subject to any changes being made, projects with a capacity greater than 50MW will be treated as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects from a planning perspective.