Levelling up with local energy

Decentralised energy is local energy. It is demand side response operating on air conditioners in the high street supermarket, the stack rising from the energy centre down the road powering your district heat network, the smart meter you log into on your phone on the commute home and the apprenticeships on offer at the regional manufacturing site running CHP to reduce electricity consumption. The UK Government has announced that the ‘levelling up’ of our cities and regions is their top economic priority. It is to decentralised energy that our policymakers must look for local jobs, local skills and local industrial strategy.

 

At the same time, we are living in a climate emergency.  Inspired by activists such as Greta Thunberg, people are taking to the streets in their millions across the globe. Climate change has never been so prominent in the news or such a widespread topic of conversation.  Citizens are making different choices in the food they eat, the products they buy and the heat and power they use, and they’re doing it without government intervention. There is an increasing citizen-led demand for change.

 

The challenge to the decentralised energy industry is therefore one of leadership; how do we continue to innovate to respond to market demand for decarbonisation?  How do we ensure that everyone, both domestic and commercial, benefit fairly?  And as the energy system becomes more decentralised, how are we making energy technology work locally, transforming the UK’s regions as well as its cities?