We recently attended Vision10’s ‘Putting digital at the heart of a low-carbon energy revolution’ event at the House of Commons, Westminster. Six inspiring speakers discussed the potential positive impact of, as the title reads, putting digital at the heart of a low carbon energy revolution and the challenges that we face. We discussed the potential of SMART transport, a SMART industry strategy and how this is vital for a low carbon economy.
The potential of digitalisation can increase sector growth by 3%, reduce CO2 by 4% and improve productivity drastically.
When looking at the future potential of the energy market, many options were discussed – once we fully digitalise energy, we will have the option of buying energy at lower prices at certain times of the day; we could have 24-hour switching by third party suppliers who give you the choice of buying energy when it’s at its greenest; energy could be bought as part of a package.
In summary, the energy market needs to be decentralised and decarbonised – we need a new architecture for energy systems which allows for an integrated system utilising assets, which is localised, democratised and digitised.
Digitalisation would enable localisation, leading to a more decentralised energy system allowing production and transmission of energy within a city or area. This would give a lot more freedom to producers and consumers, allowing them to trade with each other and locally; this in turn creates a much more democratic energy system.
For the majority of this to happen, we need a regulatory framework from government supporting the innovation process and creating incentives for the energy market. Local authorities could also play a much bigger role; in addition to the role of smart meters, localisation could mean more involvement with transport and infrastructure, as well as creating green incentives, particularly within the construction industry.