GOVERNMENT'S ENERGY POLICY SHAKE UP MUST ALSO INCLUDE SUPPORT FOR NEW NUCLEAR AND GAS

Today, as business secretary Greg Clark plans to set out his investment plans into developing battery technology in England, there is still work to be done to ensure a smooth regulatory transition for energy users and suppliers.

Darren Farrar, energy segment manager at Schneider Electric said:

“As the world’s need for consistent, reliable energy grows, we need to embrace innovative ways of generating and making the most of the power at our disposal. Using energy storage to unlock extra potential in renewable energy is one way to do this and it’s encouraging to see the Government creating mechanisms for this to take shape.

“Within the next 15 years, the UK is expected to lose 39GW of generating capacity due to the government’s continuing programme of coal and nuclear power plant decommissioning. To meet this capacity challenge, providers and policy-makers across the globe are having to think outside the box. This is why excitement is building around the potential of battery storage. While the government is making an important step forward in terms of investment, it’s important that they stick to their promise of developing appropriate and forward-thinking regulation concurrently. For example, how will storage work in relation to the Renewable Obligation Certificate (ROC) scheme?

“Existing wind farms that were built under the scheme receive ROCs via a meter fitted to the farm. Therefore, there will need to be a physical modification to the private network on any site in order to fit a battery and still be accredited under the scheme. This creates two immediate issues. A need for projects to be re-accredited in order to maintain membership of the ROC scheme and net-export of electricity through the ROC meter being reduced due to losses within the battery itself. Ofgem must clearly set out how it is going to deal with these re-accreditations and losses, and be pragmatic and pro-active in creating a positive environment for investors.”

Greg Clarke must keep his feet nailed firmly to the floor and make urgent investment decisions to also support gas and new nuclear says GMB, the Union for energy workers, has responded to a major Government shake up in UK energy policy.

Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced changes in the way electricity is made, used and stored, which the government says could save consumers in the UK billions of pounds.
GMB says while any move towards a coherent national strategy is welcome, Greg Clarke mustn’t lose sight of the fact gas and nuclear provide the lion’s share of our base energy needs now and into the future.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for Energy, said:
"Progress along the road towards anything that might start to resemble a national industrial and energy policy for the UK is welcome.

“What Greg Clarke must do however, is keep his feet nailed firmly to the floor. “That means as we expand support for crucial research into battery storage and cost-effective renewables we make urgent investment decisions to support gas and new nuclear so we have reliable base load capacity for all those times when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow.

“The breakthrough in storage is still yet to come and wishful thinking alone won't make it happen."


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