This project quantified the opportunity for Macro level Distributed Energy (DE) across the UK and accelerate the development of appropriate technology by 2020 for the purposes of significant implementation by 2030. The project studied energy demand such as residential accommodation, local services, hospitals, business parks and equipment, and is developing a software methodology to analyse local combinations of sites and technologies. This enabled the design of optimised distributed energy delivery solutions for these areas.
This deliverable is number 2 of 3 in Work Package 1. This report reviews the current landscape surrounding Distributed Energy in the UK and concludes that whilst there are many barriers to its application in the UK, there are also significant potential benefits and opportunities. This research indicates that further work is merited to identify the right solutions to enable DE to become a meaningful contributor to the UK’s overall low carbon energy solution.
From the research carried out for this report it is possible to draw the following conclusions with respect to DE;
DE is an established technology in the UK and throughout Europe.
The value chain for DE is currently too long, too complicated and with a risk reward ratio that is not compelling for potential investors.
There is potential to save money and reduce carbon emissions in the near term while constructing infrastructure for future development out beyond 2020.
DE is inherently flexible as it can both accommodate local level energy targets and compliment the grid in times of peak demand.
For DE to play a material role in the UK, strong partnerships will be required amongst public and private organisations including relevantfunding institutions. It will also be essential to build a desire to deliver superior value and benefit to the customer and the local community.
Macro-scale DE requires community (rather than individual’s) action to maximise market penetration at an early stage. This requires a high degree of political commitment and potentially legislative action. Therefore it is not just a matter of technology and cost.
Also if DE were implemented correctly it could help meet some of the targets set out in the Government’s 2009 White Paper “The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan” such as;
Deliver CO2 emissions cuts of 18% of 2008 levels by 2020.
Help produce around 40% of our electricity through low carbon resources.