Smart technologies and data for a future-proof energy supply

The UK government and Ofgem have announced smart technology plans to help consumers lower their bills and improve energy efficiency as demand for electricity increases and fossil fuels are phased out across the UK United.

Smart and flexible energy systems will be needed if the UK is to meet its leading commitments to tackle climate change by 2050. Meeting the growing demand for electricity as fossil fuels are phased out, will require a system that ensures the supply of clean energy. energy from renewable sources is guaranteed even when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.

The “Intelligent systems and flexibility plan and energy digitization strategy”, published jointly by the government and Ofgem, aims to keep the commitments made by the government in its “White Paper on Energy” and represent a step forward on the road to the flexibility of the country’s energy network.

According to the joint coalition, unleashing the full potential of smart systems and flexibility in the energy sector could reduce system management costs by up to £ 10bn per year by 2050, as well as generate up to ‘to 10,000 jobs for system installers, electricians, data scientists and engineers.

Another 14,000 jobs could also be created by the export potential of these new technologies, with an estimated export market of up to £ 2.7 billion per year for the UK economy by mid-century. For consumers, the benefits could range from the ability for households to trade in excess energy to reduce their bills, to knowing when the costs of running household appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers are. at the lowest.

“We have to make sure that our energy system can cope with the demands of the future. Smart technologies will help us tackle climate change while ensuring that the lights stay on and bills stay low, ”said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of Energy and Climate Change.

She added: “The possibilities opened up by a smart and flexible system are obvious. They will not only allow households to control their energy consumption and save money, but they will also ensure that electricity is available when and where it is needed while creating jobs and investment opportunities in the future.

With the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, the government and Ofgem hope to advance plans for new innovative systems that could allow large-scale storage of electricity produced by clean renewable sources over longer periods of time, so it is ready to meet the challenges of decarbonising energy systems. These technologies include pumped hydraulic storage, compressed air energy storage, and converting electricity into hydrogen so that it can generate electricity.

Smart technologies already under development in the UK include district heating projects in Gateshead and Milton Keynes, which provide residents with affordable, low-carbon heat and electricity by partnering with battery storage to deliver excess electricity to the grid when needed.

There is also a community of around 6,500 residential customers across the UK participating in trials where home solar power is combined with battery technology, using data to forecast production and demand for energy in the electrical system at large. This allows customers to trade excess energy back to the grid, saving an average of 70% on household bills.

The government, Ofgem and Innovate UK are also releasing the UK’s first ‘Energy Digitization Strategy’. It will examine how data from the energy system is used so that the full potential of innovative technologies can be harnessed and consumers can get the most out of new digital products and services.

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