Consumers in the UK could save billions of pounds thanks to major changes in the way electricity is made, used and stored, the government has said. New rules will make it easier for people to generate their own power with solar panels, store it in batteries and sell it to the National Grid. If they work, consumers will save £17bn to £40bn by 2050, according to the government and energy regulator Ofgem. The rules are due to come into effect over the next year. They will reduce costs for someone who allows their washing machine to be turned on by the internet to maximise use of cheap solar power on a sunny afternoon. And they will even support people who agree to have their freezers switched off for a few minutes to smooth demand at peak times. They’ll also benefit a business that allows its air-conditioning to be turned down briefly to help balance a spell of peak energy demand on the National Grid. Thanks to improvements in digital technology, battery storage and renewables, these innovations in flexibility are already under way with millions of people across the UK generating and storing electricity. So instead of predicting peak demand then building power stations to meet it, energy managers will be able to trade in Negawatts – negative electricity. Business Secretary Greg Clark will outline further a £246m investment in the UK’s industrial strategy, with energy at its heart. He will offer details of a competition for innovation in battery technology, which he says will help make the UK a world leader in battery design and manufacture.
BBC 24th July 2017 read more »
The Government is poised to invest £246m in battery technology that it says will be a key pillar in helping to power its industrial strategy. In its first major move to support the nascent battery revolution, the Government will set up a “battery institute” to award hundreds of millions of pounds to companies on the brink of major research and development breakthroughs. Greg Clarke, the business secretary, is travelling to Birmingham today to deliver his first public address on the Government’s industrial strategy since the snap general election. He is set to underline the importance of “cutting -edge energy plans”, which include battery power and electric, driverless vehicles. Mr Clarke is expected to say that the Government’s co-ordinated programme of battery funding competitions, dubbed the Faraday Challenge, “w ill – quite literally – power the automotive and energy revolution.”
Telegraph 23rd July 2017 read more »
Old-style renationalisation of the energy system, whereby the state buys all existing assets, would be a “monumental misuse of public money,” according to shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead. Speaking at the Energy Network Association’s annual Well Connected reception in Whitehall last night (Thursday July 20), Whitehead outlined a vision of renationalisation whereby parts of the energy system would be “municipalised and localised and under accountable control,” but the government would not buy up existing asset bases. He said: “The fact that the process is municipalised and localised and under accountable control is to my mind a way of talking about nationalisation but a very different process indeed.”
Utility Week 21st July 2017 read more »