British utility firms face a major disruption in the next decade as residential renewable power generation and storage is set to become profitable for London households by 2030, according to new research. The Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College London has developed a new framework called “firm power parity” which forecasts the milestones at which on-site renewables will deliver the same service and cost as conventional energy supplies. Until now, existing energy pricing models have understated the potential of renewable technologies. The researchers said consumers were unlikely to leave the power grid completely until after 2030, but their gradual withdrawal from traditional utilities will have significant implications for electrical utilities and investors. Renewable energy prices have fallen much more quickly than expected, but it is the rise of cheaper battery storage that will present a potential “game-changer” for one of the world’s largest industries over the next decade, the report said. “The UK government has a big problem on its hands: solar and storage technologies are advancing rapidly and will bleed revenues from the utilities sector, yet we need a financially healthy industry to enable large-scale investments in smarter, more flexible electric power networks,” said Charles Donovan, director of the Centre for Climate Finance. “The transition ahead is going to be messy. For example, the expensive baseload power to be generated by Hinkley Point C may not even be needed if consumers make the profitable switch to onsite solar and storage indicated by our model,” Donovan added.
City AM 25th Sept 2017 read more »
Firm Power Parity: A Framework for Understanding the Disruptive Threat of Solar & Storage.
Imperial College 25th Sept 2017 read more »
As renewables start to be profitable for customers, disruption to the utilities market will soon follow, new research shows. The Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School’s findings look at the changing face of the consumer experience and how it relates to household energy and renewable energy by the year 2030. The report also states that while it’s unlikely people will totally disconnect from the energy grid by 2030, there will be a gradual withdrawal from the traditional mode of receiving electricity. The research also suggests that as people begin to move en masse to a cheaper energy alternative, traditional power suppliers will inevitably hike up prices which will cause further consumers to switch. Charles Donovan, director at the centre, said: “The concept of grid parity does not capture the increasingly complex changes in the relationship between electricity producers and consumers and is flawed on several levels. Firstly, electricity generated from renewable energy is, by its very nature, intermittent. “What’s more, different consumers face different prices for their electricity with residential consumers paying the most. Finally, the price that consumers pay for their electricity is not necessarily static. The framework created by the Centre takes these points into consideration and differentiates between consumer types and energy services provided.
Energy Voice 26th Sept 2017 read more »