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Excess energy can be stored and then released when supply is tight.

By Joseph Murphy

Norwegian energy group Equinor has acquired a 45% interest in UK battery storage developer Noriker, it announced on December 6.

Equinor said it saw a "solid opportunity to create profitable businesses by deploying batteries and storage assets to satisfy the growing need to stabilise power markets."

The investment comes as Europe struggles with a surge in energy demand in recent months, highlighting the importance of sufficient power and gas storage capacity. Batteries enable energy from intermittent wind and solar plants to be stored when there is excess supply and released when supply is tight.

Equinor has an option to buy all of Noriker at a later stage, and it has also entered into a strategic pact with the company, giving it the opportunity to participate directly in projects that Noriker is maturing.

"Battery storage is going to be a key part of the energy transition as the world increases its share of intermittent renewable power. Large-scale batteries can be charged when there is good access to low-cost electricity and discharged when supply is limited," Equinor's senior vice president for power and markets, Olav Kolbeinstveit said. "This will enable businesses  to establish profitable services around the need to balance markets, stabilise the electricity grid and improve security of supply. The UK’s high degree of renewables make the country an interesting investment case for a battery storage business."