Industry body highlights energy challenges

Creating a level playing field for the growing number of participants in the energy market is one of the key challenges facing the sector in the years ahead, according to a new report.

Trade body Energy UK has launched its “Future of Energy” vision document, which outlines what opportunities lie ahead for the power sector between now and 2028, 20 years after the Climate Change Act was passed.

Decarbonising the transport sector was highlighted as a major challenge, with the document emphasising the role for electric vehicles.

Generating low-carbon heat is also identified as a crucial element, with the potential for low-carbon gases, district heating, renewable heat and electrification all highlighted, along with the role of energy efficiency.

Demand-side response and energy storage

Energy UK praised the progress made through Electricity Market Reform in helping to secure investment, especially with Contracts for Difference and the Capacity Market.

It said that the two mechanisms would need to evolve further to harness demand-side response and energy storage.

“Equally important is the need to ensure transmission and distribution charging provides a level playing field between transmission connected generation, embedded generation, storage, energy imports and demand side management,” the report added.

The trade body also pointed to the role that smart meters and other technology will play in helping consumers to get better value for money.

Rapid changes

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said: “The way we consume, generate and transmit power is changing rapidly – as shown by solar providing record levels of power over the past weekend and the UK recently going three days without any coal generation.

“The future energy market will be unrecognisable from the one we have known.”

Energy UK plans to publish a series of publications this year to explore topics including “Funding future electricity generation and system services”,

“The future retail market and customers’ relationship with it” and “Improving energy efficiency for domestic, industrial and commercial customers”.

> Download Energy UK's report