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Smart Energy  
7 March 2016

Smart energy could save UK GBP8bn annually, says NIC

According to a report by the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission, smart energy could save consumers up to GBP8bn annually.

The report says that smart energy infrastructure and policy could “fire a smart power revolution,” and that a smart energy revolution could save households approximately GBP75 by 2030.

Savings are accelerated by the use of electricity at off-peak times, better connections from the National Grid with other European countries and improving capabilities to store energy from intermittent renewables such as solar and wind.

The report said: "The UK is uniquely placed to lead the world in a smart power revolution … If we get this right we could save consumers up to £8bn a year."

Lord Adonis, interim chair of the NIC, said in stated: "Quality infrastructure is fundamental to our quality of life.

"Better decision making, clearer planning, and more efficient and timely delivery can help create the world-class infrastructure this country needs to succeed. To radically improve, we have to do more than simply adapt to a changing world - we must shape that change to our advantage."

Embracing a smart energy future

According to Business Green, the National Infrastructure Commission acts as an independent advisory entity to the UK government, and was tasked with investigating the country’s need for national infrastructure, particularly in the UK’s electricity sector.

Other industry organizations support the government’s decision to do more with regard to innovation in smart energy and accelerate technology development.

Emma Pinchbeck, head of climate and energy at WWF-UK, commented that a flexible energy system that integrates renewables would make clean energy more attractive and cost-effective.

Pinchbeck said in a statement: "Electricity storage is an essential part of a smarter power system, and we need to take action now in order to gain maximum advantage of this great technology.

"British companies are ahead in many areas of storage technology: electricity storage can ease congestion on the grid, reduce the costs of peak power and integrate renewable energy into our system. The overall benefit is a net reduction in the total costs of electricity for the nation, and a more resilient and secure network."

Adonis added: "Our existing power stations are closing down and their replacements will be radically different as we decarbonise supply to reduce emissions.

"This represents an enormous challenge, but it also leaves the UK uniquely placed to benefit from three exciting innovations set to transform the global electricity market - interconnection, storage and demand flexibility.

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