Solar Farms and Battery Storage

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:30 pm on 8th June 2022.

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Photo of James Gray James Gray Conservative, North Wiltshire 4:30 pm, 8th June 2022

The action group will be reassured that my right hon. and learned Friend takes a keen interest in the matter.

Before I come back to the national planning policy framework, which must be central to this afternoon’s debate, I will touch briefly on battery storage solutions, which are springing up all over the place. They are absolutely hideous. There is a fire risk attached to them, and they do not make a single contribution towards renewables. All they do is store electricity that has been produced at a cheap time, when there is low demand overnight, instead of at an expensive time, such as during the day. In other words, they increase the electricity producer’s profits but do not reduce the amount of electricity used, even slightly. They do not increase the amount of renewable energy produced; they are merely a convenience for the developers. They are a hideous new development. Technology will soon overtake them, and we will be left with hundreds of acres of countryside with these vast industrial sites on them. They will then be redundant and the planners will turn around and say, “They are brownfield sites. Let’s put houses or factories on them”—on what was, until recently, farmland.