In February 2018 the National Grid published its four energy scenarios (above). These are used to examine ways in which the UK could meet its emission reduction targets of 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). More information about these scenarios can be found here. Community energy is an area which will benefit from advances in the innovation from energy storage systems and smart grid technology. Alongside this, changes in policy will affect the financing of projects allowing community energy groups to look at new and innovative business models.
The issues already being addressed by the community energy movement are aligned with the problems Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are tackling through innovation projects. Many of these organisations are working to generate clean energy locally to increase security of supply and reduce carbon emissions. This will also reduce energy usage, fuel poverty and enable residents to save money on their energy bills.
This month sees the release by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) and Regen of the Electricity Network Innovation Guide for Communities 2018, which can be downloaded here. The outcomes of these projects will directly benefit community energy opportunities and future business models. The report provides a very informative look at how our energy system is changing, lessons from innovation trials, why these projects are important, and how you can get involved.
Cornwall New Energy will be hosting an event in the near future which will look at some of the innovative work being carried out on Western Power Distribution (WPD) projects as well as the University of Exeter’s own research. Topics discussed will be energy storage and micro-grid, smart grid development and block chain as an enabling technology for peer to peer trading.