Comments on the upcoming energy security strategy

Comments from sector experts at an ECIU media briefing ahead of the Government’s energy security strategy.

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By George Smeeton

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If you would like to be put in touch with any of the speakers or have any further questions, please do let us know.

Dr Alastair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer, Flexitricity:

“We can cut gas burn in power generation by changing the way the electricity system is operated. We can put green energy to work by timing energy consumption to windy periods, and we can target green flexibility at times of peak gas burn. We believe Government and National Grid can do this with simple, no-regrets interventions that line up perfectly with the net zero journey we're already on.”

Clementine Cowton, Director of External Affairs at Octopus Energy: “The solution to this crisis is not to dig ourselves into further exposure to expensive fossil gas prices, be it from the North Sea or begged from foreign regimes. Electrification of our economy offers immediate efficiency savings that reduce dependence on expensive gas now and into the future.

“Every heat pump installed today reduces that home’s gas consumption by 80%, increasing with every renewable power plant we add to the grid. An onshore wind farm can take less than a year to build and slashes bills for the community that hosts it. Let’s get to work electrifying everything!”

Caroline Bragg, Director of Policy and Research, The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE):

“As the National Grid has said, only a strongly demand-led approach is able to reduce our dependence on gas significantly. It feels like a moon shot here in the UK but in other countries, it’s about rolling up your sleeves – including amazing new programmes like Ireland’s Home Upgrade Scheme, which is looking to reach 25% of its total housing stock.”

Jess Ralston, Senior Analyst, ECIU:

“Energy efficiency is a complete no-brainer. While short term fiddling with supply does nothing to isolate households from future fossil fuel spikes, insulation is the quickest way to reduce gas demand and energy bills, permanently. That’s why the energy industry, along with independent experts and the public, back a retrofit revolution. The hope will be that to kick off the drive, the PM’s energy security strategy will pick up where the Chancellor left them wanting, and properly incentivise measures that will make a difference to bills while minimising the need for Putin’s gas.”

Julian Jansen, Growth and Market Development Manager – EMEA, Fluence: “The current geopolitical situation across Europe and globally underlines the urgent need to fundamentally rethink the structure of our energy system and rebalance our goals: security of supply, affordability, and sustainability. Battery-based energy storage can help transform the way we power the United Kingdom. As a cost-effective, low-emission solution, energy storage needs to become the backbone of flexibility and capacity markets.

“In the latest capacity market auction (T-4; Feb-22, 2022), approx. 1.1 GW of battery-based energy storage was awarded capacity contracts, and around 1.5 GW of operational battery storage systems provide fast-responding flexibility services in the UK today. But despite this ready-to-deploy, cost-effective solution, across these markets, we continue to rely on insecure, high-emission natural gas-based generation.

“In the medium-term, the key to achieving a sustainable energy system is the accelerated deployment of renewable assets – the prime minister has set out a goal to generate 100% of electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. But building renewables is not enough: We must ensure the energy system is able to integrate them! Energy storage is crucial for system stability under a high share of instantaneous renewable generation because it eases congestion and reduces curtailment – in effect helping us get renewable power from A to B and stopping us from wasting it.”

For more information:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: