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What’s trending? Taking a look at the energy industry’s top talking points

A key theme that emerged from our recent Summer Utilities Forum was how difficult it can be to optimise an energy strategy when the future is uncertain – but while it can be tricky to plan ahead in these circumstances, it’s not impossible! A good way to ensure that you’ve got the best strategy for your business is to take stock of the current energy landscape and stay up to date when it comes to new solutions and developments in the industry.

We know how hard that can be when you’re facing an already lengthy to-do list, but that’s where our expertise comes in handy – we’ll keep an eye on the industry and keep you informed. With that in mind, here’s a quick round-up of some of the key talking points in the energy industry right now:

Battery Storage

We predicted that 2017 would be the year of the battery, and it seems we weren’t wrong! According to a recent study, the UK now has 2.3GW worth of commercial and industrial and utility-scale battery storage projects in the pipeline.

So far this year we’ve seen growing interest and investment in batteries, from the Limejump and Anesco partnership – which should deliver 185MW of battery storage by the end of 2018 – to DONG Energy’s plans to add a 2MW battery storage system to enable it to deliver Frequency Response at its Burbo Bank offshore wind farm. There are also growing opportunities for smaller, low-voltage businesses to take advantage of battery storage – the British Solar Renewables organisation has recently launched a new business, Omnia, to install batteries on the sites of smaller business energy users.

Distributed generation

Our energy landscape is changing, and as it becomes easier for industrial, commercial and residential customers to install their own sources of generation, the energy system is set to see a boost in distributed generation.

The shift towards a more decentralised system has been recognised by some of the energy industry’s key players; Centrica recently sold the last of its combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power stations in the UK to focus instead on new opportunities like energy storage and distributed generation. There are a number of ways that businesses can start generating their own energy, from solar panels to diesel backup generators and combined heat and power (CHP) plants, and businesses that have their own generation assets may be able to benefit from demand management schemes like STOR.

Renewable revolution

The increasing shift towards renewable energy isn’t exactly breaking news, but renewables are one of the energy industry’s hot topics, and we have seen some important milestones in 2017. In the first three months of the year, renewable energy generated more than 26% of the UK’s electricity, and Britain set a new renewables peak power record of 19.3GW at the beginning of June.

While the USA’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement could ultimately slow down the growth of the renewables industry in the country, it still seems to be moving in the right direction, with 10% of the country’s power coming from wind and solar in March. It seems that the rest of the world is also powering ahead with the shift towards renewables– China (which is currently the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world) has recently cancelled over 100 plans for coal-fired power plants and is now the world’s largest investor in renewable energy, accounting for 17% of global green energy investment.

Stay updated

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