UK government backs Smart Power Industry Alliance
Power market stakeholders have unified to make a new alliance on smart power, following a pan-industry campaign.
The Smart Power Industry Alliance officially launched on 23 October at Westminster.
The aim of the collaboration between leading energy trade associations and the National Grid is to create a smart energy pathway for technologies and services.
This will eventually lead to a decarbonisation the energy economy through equipping households, businesses, and communities with more control over energy usage.
RenewableUK, the Solar Trade Association (STA), and Tech UK’s Smart Infrastructure Initiative were among many of the groups to back and make the alliance.
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“This is the chance for the UK to be a leader in energy, but it does mean we have to work together to predict and overcome the challenges that will be there,” stated the leader of the initiative, Charles Hendry.
“Some people in the Conservative Party may say we’ve got enough experts. This is a sector where we certainly need them. I’m very pleased to be hearing what the experts in this room say over the weeks and months ahead. I wish you all the best of luck with it.”
The alliance has created a list key requests for the government and Ofgem:
- Putting consumers at the heart of energy policy by enabling households to play an active role in the energy system;
- To facilitate the creation of new markets for smart services, ensuring that all participants can compete on equal terms;
- Taking a whole-system approach to power by creating incentives for heat, transport and power sectors to collaborate more effectively;
- Accelerating the smart power transition by providing consistent policy and regulatory direction, and;
- To make smart power a central cog within the industrial strategy, providing incentives for key sectors to invest in smart technologies.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.