Decarbonising the heat sector is one of the biggest policy challenges in the coming years.
That’s according to Martin Crouch, Senior Partner at Ofgem, who believes the UK’s transition towards a smarter energy system must be done in a way that takes into account decarbonisation as well as adds value to consumers.
He spoke to ELN at Green Alliance’s launch of a new report, which suggests the power system is not prepared for the growing number of consumers choosing to buy small scale technologies like electric vehicles and solar power.
Mr Crouch believes accommodating more intermittent generation into the grid is an “ongoing challenge” but sees “great opportunity” for consumers in how they engage with the sector as part of the transition.
He added people should have more confidence in the system being able to adapt to the changes and “not sell renewables short”.
Mr Crouch also said the degree to which businesses have come forward with new innovation “has been at the upper end of our expectations” and suggested the sector needs more creativity, innovation and experimentation than top down design.
Roisin Quinn, Head of Energy Strategy and Policy at National Grid, who was also part of a panel debate at the event, told ELN the energy system is already changing, with the grid operator “stepping up” and helping the sector towards the smart transition.
She said: “We’re looking at changes to the role of the system operator to really enable us to play a role to help people make that transition as smooth as possible.”
Ms Quinn added National Grid has had a “huge response” to the Power Responsive initiative, which aims to stimulate increased participation in the different forms of flexible technology such as demand side response and storage.