‘The UK’s energy sector is changing more rapidly than ever before’

That’s according to Ian Funnell, CEO of ABB UK, speaking to ELN Editor Sumit Bose

By Jonny Bairstow
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The change and the transformation happening in the energy sector is more rapid than it has ever been before.

That’s according to Ian Funnell, CEO of ABB UK, who spoke to ELN Editor Sumit Bose about how the transition to distributed, low carbon energy technologies will have a stronger and more far reaching impact than previous paradigm shifts, including the privatisation of the sector and the Electricity Market Reform.

He said the energy industry is now experiencing a period of rapid and continuous change, evidenced by the widespread deployment of renewables and the era of energy simply travelling from power plants to plug points having “simply evaporated” in recent times.

The boss of the technology giant added energy systems are becoming much less passive, more diffuse and more dynamic as energy generation, transmission and management becomes increasingly complex.

He said historically, around 80% of all energy is lost before it is used, an issue that is now being tackled by innovative efficiency measures.

Mr Funnell referenced ABB’s high efficiency motors, which have now acheived energy savings equivalent to the entire domestic consumption of the US and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by the equivalent of taking 100,000,000 vehicles off the road.

He told ELN many small and disruptive technology companies have entered the market and in many cases, are driving innovation with new solutions as to how energy can be procured and traded.

Mr Funnell said: “They are organisations and can be organisations who will deal with energy, trade in energy and sell you energy but they don’t actually own anything.

“There are others out there who do own or will own assets and I think it will be interesting to see how those commercial models develop, because those commercial models I think are the drivers that will change the way which we consume energy and trade energy, quicker than any government policy.”

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