Electricity prices for industrial users can be brought down if the UK Government removes barriers for mature renewables, according to a new report.

A paper compiled by University College London for the Aldersgate Group outlined six key policy recommendations:

● removing barriers to investment in mature renewable energy projects, given that technologies like onshore wind no longer need subsidy and resuming the carbon price escalator;

● encouraging greater co-ordination between investments in network and generation infrastructure to avoid congestion and inefficient network development;

● ensuring that the UK leaves the EU in a way that retains unrestricted access to the internal energy market and supports continued investment in interconnection with continental grids;

● facilitating cross-border industrial electricity purchase;

● helping industrial electricity consumers to benefit from providing system-related services to the electricity system, such as demand-shifting and frequency support;

● and Establishing a long-term market of zero carbon and tradeable electricity contracts.

The report examined why energy prices for industrial users are higher in the UK than in France or Germany and attributed part of the difference to the lack of interconnectors linking the UK to the continent.

Same costs for fossil fuels and renewables

Michael Grubb, Professor of Energy and Climate Change at UCL, said: “With costs tumbling, the clean energy revolution presents an opportunity for UK industry.

“But harnessing the benefits will require removing the obstacles to mature renewables including onshore wind, and helping business consumers profit from flexibility.

“It also means ensuring that both fossil fuels and renewables face their environmental and system costs along with developing smarter energy markets, through which industry can procure its energy efficiently with the most cost-effective renewables.”

> Download the report