Royal Society responds to House of Lords Science and Technology report on long-duration energy storage

13 March 2024

The Royal Society welcomes today’s (13 March 2024) House of Lord’s Science and Technology Committee report on long-duration energy storage report, which calls on the government to take urgent action on future energy infrastructure to meet net zero targets and secure the UK’s energy supply. 

The report chimes with the Royal Society’s own large scale electricity report, published in September 2023, in which it calls for construction of large-scale hydrogen storage facilities to begin immediately so the government can meet its pledge for all electricity to come from low carbon sources by 2035 and reach legally binding net zero targets by 2050.

Professor Sheila Rowan, Physical Secretary of the Royal Society, said: “The need for urgent action on large-scale, long-term energy storage should not be under-estimated. Demand for electricity is projected to approximately double by 2050 and, according to the government’s own targets, that demand will be mainly met by wind and solar. But our calculations reveal that under these circumstances, and at certain times in the future, there could be a shortfall of electricity supply for extended periods, unless construction of large-scale electricity storage facilities (or reserve zero carbon power stations) are started now. We believe storing most of the surplus renewable electricity produced as hydrogen, in salt caverns, would be the cheapest way of doing this.

“Due to difficulties in incentivising private investment in this area, it is vital the government explores alternative ways of securing a strategic clean energy reserve.”