EDF Energy is teaming up with the UK’s largest generator of solar power in a bid to create the biggest challenger brand in the energy retail market by the end of the decade. The Big Six supplier has thrown its weight behind Sunplug, a consumer energy project developed in partnership with Lightsource, which provides the solar panels on thousands of British roofs. Sunplug is led by a former Goldman Sachs banker James Brooks, and aims to offer a solar power and battery system at no upfront cost. Mr Brooks joined Lightsource from his role as head of natural resources at the US bank six months ago to spearhead the project he says could reach one million homes by 2020. This would put the venture ahead of suppliers such as First Utility and Ovo Energy which are currently the largest independents in the market. “It’ s a different way for consumers to interact with their utility,” Mr Brooks said. The Sunplug system allows energy users to store solar energy through the day and use the power when it’s needed at a fixed price, without the cost of installing or maintaining the panels. In the same way that mobile phone contracts allow customers to pay for the handset alongside the service tariff, Sunplug hopes to create a boom in demand for solar technology by removing the cost barrier. “There are a lot of companies which are talking about off-grid generation and smart devices. But Lightsource is approaching this trend from a consumer perspective. Solar generation might have once been the preserve of the wealthier middle-classes, who have a few thousand pounds to spare, but now anyone can be part of this evolution,” Mr Brooks added.
Telegraph 17th April 2017 read more »
Just a few years ago experts the world over bemoaned the prohibitive cost of solar power. But today it is widely considered to be the best and most affordable hope for decarbonising the world’s energy system. Solar prices are down 62% in the last eight years, according to a recent Bloomberg analysis, and on track to beat the cost of coal within a decade. In fact it’s already achieved that milestone in more than 30 countries, according to the World Economic Forum. So what happened? We asked a few experts.
Energydesk 14th April 2017 read more »