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Decentralised energy ‘is key to securing Britain’s energy future’

A report exploring the importance of decentralised energy as a means to delivering lower future energy bills to British families says it is more efficient and costs less in the long term to use energy where it is generated and to generate it where it will be used.

Contributors include Lightsource Renewable Energy, Good Energy and Foresight Group, with analysis provided by KPMG.

The report claims decentralised energy has a major role to play in meeting the UK’s energy needs and could be key to subsidy-free solar power within five years: “With the solar energy sector facing proposed cuts of 87% to subsidy support, The Decentralised Energy Transition report sets out key policy recommendations that would ensure best value for money for consumers while negating the need for severe cuts.”

The recommendations are:

  • Retain Feed-In Tariff (FiT) subsidies and focus on technologies that have the greatest potential to support the development of smart energy systems. In addition, the remaining FiT budget should be front-loaded, while only subsidising domestic and small-scale commercial solar PV installations. This can be done without increasing the overall budget and, therefore, the cost to consumers.
  • Recognise the value created for the electricity grid of widespread deployment of battery technologies. With widespread deployment of storage, peaks on the electricity grid can be avoided and hence grid reinforcement costs can be reduced.
  • Kick-start the deployment of storage technologies through provision of grants or other incentives.
  • Incentivise grid companies to support the deployment of decentralised energy.

Lightsource chief executive Nick Boyle said: “The overall aim for the solar industry has always been to get solar PV to grid parity so we can compete with any other forms of energy without subsidies.

“The costs of solar and storage technologies are falling rapidly and we are not far off having a reliable and clean local generation technology that is at grid parity. It doesn’t just stop at solar and batteries. This is about a smart home management system.

“I hope that this report helps to build a case for retaining subsidy levels in the short term so that the UK is able to reduce the cost of future energy bills for consumers.”

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