Starting this month we'll publish our monthly update on what’s happening in the Energy Tech sector, including news, developments and events that caught our interest.

This month...

Electric Vehicles

Scottish Power launched a renewable-backed electricity tariff aimed specifically at EV owners. It's a Time of Use tariff so customers will need a smart meter to qualify. We like their app's charge scheduling and renewable energy sourcing on this tariff. Marketing its cost per mile as a tenth that of petrol's stands out in light of CAB's 'Take Charge' report, also released this month. Definitely worth a read.

Also this month, Deloitte published research predicting a surge in EV ownership up to 2030 and EV ownership on par with ICE by 2022. With 2018's global EV sales twice that of 2017 and Audi, Volkswagen, Jaguar and Mercedes investing heavily in EV and even Kia's e-Niro winning What Car's 'Car of the Year' award it's clear that what's happening in the market aligns well with the Deloitte's forecast.

Smart Meters

BEIS' inquiry into the smart meter roll-out saw Ofgem and Claire Perry (Minister for Energy) facing some pointed questions and gave a suggestion that the UK's smart meter programme is pushed back to ease pressure on suppliers. The inquiry heard that at present there's no evidence of consumer benefits and the current deadline is the cause of large numbers of SMETS1 meter installations, as suppliers rush to meet obligations with available inventory.

It was a fairly damning assessment of the current state of the rollout, though we continue to strongly believe in smart metering's future role as the facilitator of new energy tariffs and behind-the-meter innovations in efficiency.

Meanwhile, DCC announced 250,000 SMETS2 devices have been commissioned to date. Quite a way to go but still, good progress over the past twelve months. To that end, the UK Government intends to promote smart metering to the UK's 5.7 million small business owners (99% of all businesses), many of whom don't pay attention to their energy consumption but instead consider energy an absorbed cost. If convinced, those 5.7 million businesses could contribute nicely to roll-out targets.

Renewable Energy

GE announced THE WORLD'S BIGGEST TURBINE will undergo a five-year stress test starting this year in Rotterdam. The statistics on this thing are incredible -

  • 220 metre diameter
  • 260 metres from ground to blade tip
  • generates 12 megawatts (enough to power 16,000 homes)

Also this monthVestas became the first company to install 100-gigawatt of turbine generation (enough for about 86 DeLoreans). Vestas' CEO, Anders Runevad, doesn't see any limits to turbine size in the immediate future, so even greater generation potential alongside wind power’s growth projections over the next ten years.

Decentralised Energy

National Grid announced its 'Distributed Resource Desk', enabling them to issue demand instructions to power generators, storage operators and Demand Side Response operators. This broadens the response options to balance the grid with renewable and storage providers.

Energy Tech Of The Month

Lots of worthy contenders, but this month it's the National Grid's Distributed Resource Desk.

With instant access to bids, availability and capacity it's the route to maximising balancing capability from generation and storage providers. We're hopeful that it will offer further opportunity for small scale providers working with aggregators (like Flexitricity and Limejump), accelerate renewable adoption, and enable a future where DER complements behind-the-meter demand management.