Innovation is transforming the way we generate and consume power, with future energy needs being met through subsidy-free renewables balanced by on-site battery storage.
The government has set out strong ambitions for the UK to be a world leader in flexible generation, most recently through the plans for a new Smart Export Guarantee.
However, its rhetoric is not being matched by action. In the last two years Ofgem has removed embedded benefits for distributed generation and storage, de-rated benefits for batteries in the capacity market and eliminated feed-in tariffs for rooftop solar. Government now also plans to increase network charges and hike VAT for homeowners who invest in residential solar and storage.
This stop-start approach of endless consultation, coupled with regulatory decisions that contradict stated policy, has made the UK less attractive for investors in renewable energy infrastructure, with many projects now delayed or cancelled.
If the prime minister is serious about maximising the advantages from the shift to decentralised energy, the government must set clearer targets and a roadmap for reform of our electricity system and show greater urgency in putting in place the framework for an open market in flexible generation.
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06 September 2019