A community organisation raised money through government funding schemes and share offers to build low carbon energy projects in Oxford. Among them was Osney Lock Hydro, which since 2015 has been generating an average of 188 megawatt hours a year of electricity on a stretch of the river Thames — enough to power around 60 homes. Osney Lock Hydro is an example of how Britain’s electricity system has become far more diverse with the rapid growth of renewable energy projects, ranging from solar panels on the roofs of homes and businesses to vast wind farms off Britain’s coast. The change is challenging energy companies to rethink the design of Britain’s electricity networks, through which power has traditionally been exported from large, centralised power stations to the main transmission network and then distributed to homes and businesses by local network companies. Smaller, renewable schemes instead export power to local grids, forcing local networks to accommodate two-way flows.
FT 1st Feb 2020 read more »