Response from Flexitricity re the Drax Electric Insights Report Q3 2018 and its findings that the UK’s installed capacity of renewables has overtaken that of fossil fuels for the first time ever

Dr Alastair Martin, Chief Strategy Officer at demand response aggregator and business energy supplier, Flexitricity, said:

“Today’s findings present a major milestone in the growth of green energy.  Following the ‘year of firsts’ in 2017, which included the first coal free day, we saw wind meet nearly 30% of electricity needs during the toughest day of the year – right in the middle of the Beast from the East.  ICL’s report also proves the doom merchants wrong – whatever happened to ‘Blackout Britain’?

“When we take a closer look at today’s energy mix we see a lot of low inertia wind and solar, which alongside nuclear, will rely on customer-side flexibility to keep the system stable. But the industry has already proven it can do this – this is our bread and butter.

“What it doesn’t yet show is any contribution from marine energy, other than offshore wind. However, tidal stream may well be the next big contributor to that chart. It’ll be a challenge to crack, but so was offshore wind in its infancy.

“Britain is still building fossil fuel capacity, despite this changing landscape. The focus really should be on building solutions that are part of the bigger picture.  The Government was right to back heat networks, which can bring in energy efficient CHP and heat pumps.  But most new fossil-fuelled capacity won’t be linked to heat networks and so will continue to throw heat away as a waste product.  We are still missing easy opportunities to capture efficiencies, harness flexibility and create value.

“With the emergence of battery storage, the need to burn coal, oil and gas will continue to decline.  We will see greater diversity in battery projects, as developers look beyond frequency response. Innovation will be key to the UK’s fossil-free future, and this is happening at pace.  Inertia response, which we’ve developed with National Grid, as well as direct market access to the Balancing Mechanism and intraday trading, will form a suite of revenue sources which flexible, distributed energy users and generators can access.

“Electricity is greener than it’s ever been, but not as green as it soon will be.  Flexibility is key to putting that green energy to work.”


Background:

The full report can be found here: http://electricinsights.co.uk/#/reports/report-2018-q3/detail/renewables-leapfrog-fossil-capacity?&_k=skctdo

Dr Iain Staffell, Imperial College London, explained: “Britain’s power system is slowly but surely walking away from fossil fuels, and this quarter saw a major milestone on the journey. At the start of this decade, Britain had seven times more generating capacity from coal, oil and gas as it had from renewables .But since their peak, 40% of Britain’s fossil-fuelled plants have retired as they reached the end of their lives or became uneconomical, meaning Britain now has just 41.2 GW of fossil capacity. Meanwhile, renewable capacity has grown six-fold since the start of the decade; so wind, solar, biomass, hydro and waste1 now stand together at 41.9 GW of capacity, outstripping fossil plants for the first time2.

“The roll-out of new renewables has eclipsed the capacity growth seen during the 1990s ‘dash for gas’. At its peak, Britain was building 2.4 GW of new gas-fired power stations each year. So far this decade, an average of 3.8 GW of new renewable capacity was built, made up of 1.0 GW of onshore wind, 0.8 GW of offshore wind, 1.4 GW of solar and 0.4 GW of biomass.”

ENDS

7 November 2018

Issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of Flexitricity.

For more information, images or interviews please contact:

Dyan Owen: 0141 333 0557/ 07738 086 818 / dowen@webershandwick.com


Notes to Editors:

About Flexitricity:

Flexitricity partners with businesses throughout the UK to provide reserve electricity to National Grid.

The word “Flexitricity” means “Flexible Electricity”. The company looks for flexibility in electricity consumption and generation, creating revenue for energy users and generators using the flexibility they find.

Flexitricity was founded in 2004 by Dr Alastair Martin, a professional energy engineer with experience ranging from gigawatt-scale coal and nuclear power stations.

Based in Edinburgh, the company introduced the concept of aggregated load management and flexible generation.

National Grid’s estimate of savings to consumers can be found at: http://www.nationalgridconnecting.com/how-dsr-could-transform-our-energy-system/