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Decc says energy storage 'a top priority'

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom says Decc will resist any attempts to take Ofgem's powersThe Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) says it will imminently launch a consultation on smart energy systems such as demand-side response and energy storage.

Energy minister Andrea Leadsom said that storage was “a top priority” for the department and that Decc has “been consulting behind the scenes for months” with industry. “Due to purdah we have not yet been able to get the formal consultation out there … But we are literally about to launch it”.

She also told that while Ofgem believes rules around allowing distribution network operators to operate energy storage cannot be changed, interpretation of those EU rules may be “more nuanced”.

However, Leadsom warned that even if evidence suggested rule changes around storage operation and double charging of storage assets could remove barriers, it may take “several years” to change network codes and create unintended consequences for other market participants. She said the consultation aimed to determine “the shortest route as opposed to the obvious [but wrong one]”.

Leadsom rejected suggestions of a lack of urgency within Decc to resolve barriers to market for storage.

“That could not be further from the truth. There is an enormous urgency within Decc to resolve the issues for storage. What we don’t want to do is come up with a solution amongst ourselves and then go down a track which could delay things by years.”

That was the point of consulting, she pointed out.

“[The consultation] will look at what is the shortest, least line of resistance path for creating a supportive regulatory environment for storage, and that will be the route we take.”

She added that “storage is a top priority” within the department. “It is right up there as one of Decc’s priorities to ensure a supportive regulatory regime in short order.”

Watch the session here.

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