Uncertainty was the word of the day at this year’s Energy Live Consultancy Conference (ELCC) at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
As hundreds of consultants and brokers gathered to network, build knowledge and find ways to better cater for their customers, much of the talk focused on the effects of Brexit, new businesses entering the energy market, policy chaos in government and the collapse of Utilitywise.
James Chaplin, Energy Trader at EDF Energy, hosted a packed seminar stream, in which he told the standing room only audience that renewables would add to unpredictability due to their intermittent nature.
He noted increased price volatility would happen, as when renewables don’t supply enough power, gas and coal generation need to be turned on to fill the gap, increasing prices.
He said he expected renewables would make up 44% of capacity by 2022, noting “greater price volatility could stem from more reliance on flexible supply.”
Mr Chaplin also suggested whether a Brexit deal or no-deal is reached will also affect market uncertainty, as the carbon price and therefore the energy price will depend on whether the UK remains in the European Trading System (ETS) or leaves and introduces a more stable flat rate.
Sales Director of Haven Power, Mark Anderson, told ELN Editor Sumit Bose that long-term and consistent regulations were needed to provide adequate certainty, noting these would need to take into account new and innovative technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and how they are likely to affect the market.
Speaking in front of the gathered audience, Gillian Noble, Sales Director at ScottishPower, said: “I think part of what provides uncertainty to the customer is the rhetoric that goes round about it, and whilst we’re in a period of uncertainty actually, across the entire industry and across the entire country right now, actually it’s been the clearest strategic position that ScottishPower have ever been in.”
Brokers are also gearing up for The Energy Live Consultancy Awards (TELCA), which is taking place on 26th June in London. The deadline for applications is 16th April, so good luck!
Stay tuned for more ELCC footage to follow shortly.