After a collective "Meh" from the non-EV parts of the low-carbon industry in response to last week's budget, some positive route-finding has materialised in the Industrial strategy. This puts smart energy systems at the core of the industrial growth plans and recognises energy as one of the 4 pillars of the strategy and one of the "Grand Challenges" to overcome. It's heartening to see Decarbonisation as "One of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time", standing in stark contrast to views from across the Atlantic (picture chosen deliberately, Donald).
Positive messages, too, for smart meters, EVs and local energy management, but perhaps most encouraging is the recognition that the UK can become a world leader in the smart energy revolution. Which it absolutely can, but we need:
- widespread commitment to rebuilding the policy and regulatory framework
- commitment from Treasury to invest in long-term growth
- a level playing field with fossil fuel tax position
- leadership and co-ordination from BEIS and OFGEM with strong, unified voices from industry.
“Smart systems can link energy supply, storage and use, and join up power, heating and transport to increase efficiency dramatically. By developing these world-leading systems in the UK, we can cut bills while creating high value jobs for the future,” the strategy states. The government has also committed to implement its Smart Systems & Flexibility Plan in full by 2022 to enable a more flexible approach to energy, centred around the use of smart meters.