Letter: Volker Beckers, chief executive of RWE Npower, 2010-12; Joan MacNaughton, director- general for energy at the Department of Trade and Industry, 2002 -06; Ian Marchant, chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), 2002-13 – We welcome the government announcements on the smart future for electricity and the banning of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 (“Giant batteries to store green energy”, News, last week). The UK electricity market is undergoing a rapid transformation with renewables near to the point of needing no subsidy. More than 900,000 homes, communities and businesses already generate their own renewable power and there are 100,000 electric vehicles on our roads today. These technologies were rare just a few years ago. In the past year, the control of energy through digitisation has leapt ahead, enabling users to power their devices and to store electricity at times that match the strength of the wind and the sun. Earlier this year, households in the Welsh town of Bethesda started trading their surplus power directly with each other. The large incumbent power generators and suppliers have been largely caught off guard by these step-change innovations. Their last-century business model of big, centralised power stations and passive consumers is being rapidly undermined. To avoid stranding these assets for their investors, they must now focus on providing cost-saving flexibility, smart and efficient services to customers, bespoke products to so-called prosumers, and collaborating to drive local energy initiatives and innovations into their mainstream business. This promises a very different future that we are excited to see.
Sun Times 30th July 2017 read more »