The UK energy sector trade body, Energy UK, has announced that its members are ready to deliver affordable, reliable, and clean energy.
A new report published by Energy UK, the country’s trade association for the energy industry, highlighted “how a positive partnership with government will allow the sector to meet the considerable challenges facing the country in balancing costs with affordability while meeting environmental and security goals.”
The UK’s energy policies have been ransacked over the past 12 months, leaving the country’s traditional and renewable energy sectors floundering amid a lack of political support. UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party have come under heavy criticism for their green policies, with the latest coming from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and Renewable Energy Association who together warned the UK Government that the current policies are going to leave the country “facing an electricity supply crisis.”
The problem, as expressed throughout traditional and renewable electricity and energy sectors, is the lack of communication between government and industry.
The new report, Pathways for the GB Electricity Sector to 2030, “summarises key findings from a series of in-depth interviews carried out in summer and autumn 2015, with senior leaders from the Energy UK membership and other key organisations and stakeholders.” Specifically, the report is aiming to “provide insights from those responsible for ensuring clean, secure, and affordable electricity supply to 2030” while also outlining “key steps required between Government and industry to ensure that delivery.”
The key findings from the report suggest that the future of energy will be smarter when:
1. Consumers are central to policy – as the costs and benefits of moving to a low carbon economy are clearly set out to achieve customer buy-in
2. There is a “whole systems” approach – as the power, transport and heat sectors are decarbonized, a cross government and industry taskforce co-ordinates the interactions and arrangements so nothing is done in isolation
3. Energy efficiency policy encourages customers to take action – as clear, long-term policy unlocks the significant potential to reduce energy use through fiscal incentives and long lead time regulation
4. Solar & storage is subsidy free – as decentralized energy plays an increasing role as costs continue to fall and regulatory change comes into place
5. Demand Side Response and smart grids play a significant role – as the right policy and regulatory structures are put in place
6. There is a more dynamic energy system – as demand side response, interconnection and energy efficiency play an increasing role – while there is still a significant investment needed in large-scale power generation, this could be less than previously thought
7. Transition to a lower carbon energy system is delivered effectively and efficiently – as the governance and roles of industry bodies are reviewed and clarified
8. Predictable and stable policies drive investment – as the sector can then move forward to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy
“The UK’s power sector is poised to make a real contribution to the country’s ongoing energy challenges,” said Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK. “Working with government to develop a holistic approach to policy and long term policies that underpin the economic confidence of investors, the UK energy industry can deliver affordable reliable and clean energy now and into the future. But the energy sector cannot meet the country’s green goals alone and we are looking at ways to work with other industry sectors.
“We are already seeing new reliable and renewable sources of energy coming on stream while working with customers will continue to drive innovation putting power in the hands of users to deliver warmer and more energy efficient homes,” Slade continued. “This is an exciting time for the energy industry. The next ten years will see many changes for the better, putting customers first and in control of the energy they use.”
“This report paints a picture of a GB power sector by 2030 that is more decentralised, more interconnected with Europe, with much greater energy efficiency and demand side response,” added Simon Virley, corporate finance partner at KPMG. “This ‘smarter’ energy system will give consumers more control and help keep bills down.”