Smart grid ‘routemap’ for UK published
A new “routemap” which sets out how smart technologies can give consumers better control over their energy use, support jobs and increase security while saving billions of pounds has been published.
Created by DECC, the Smart Grid Forum – which brings together industry, regulators and consumer groups – estimates smart grid would help cut the cost of adding low carbon technologies such as solar PV, electric vehicles and heat pumps by up to £12 billion a year by 2050.
The report sets out a vision of a “smart electricity grid that develops to support an efficient, timely transition to a low carbon economy to help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets, ensure energy security and wider energy goals while minimising costs to consumers”.
It praises the UK’s progress in supporting smart grid trials through the £500 million Low Carbon Network Fund – which provides funding for network company innovation projects designed to test and trial new smart grid technologies and solutions – and setting the smart meter rollout targets.
However, it suggests providing a “strategic direction on the future of the electricity system and value of smart grids”, ensuring regulatory and commercial frameworks support the deployment of smart technologies and ensuring consumers understand and are convinced by the benefits of installing smart meters and shifting demand.
Energy Minister Michael Fallon welcomed the proposals as he believes smart grid development “offers exciting opportunities for the UK”.
He said: “Our electricity market reforms will provide a stable and attractive environment for investors in low-carbon generation and support growth. It is therefore vital that we modernise our infrastructure to ensure it supports deployment and meets customer needs. The smart grid will also create thousands of jobs, support economic growth and help build a Greater Britain.”