Smart technologies and data to future-proof UK energy sector

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Cutting-edge smart technologies will ensure the lights stay on and energy bills are cut, as demand for electricity intensifies and fossil fuels are phased out in the UK, in new plans laid out by the UK government and Ofgem today.

Smart and flexible energy systems will be needed if the UK is to meet its world-leading commitments to tackle climate change by 2050. Meeting an increasing demand for electricity, as fossil fuels are phased out, will require a system which ensures the supply of clean energy from renewable sources is guaranteed even when the wind is not blowing or the sun is not shining.

Published jointly by the government and Ofgem today, the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan and Energy Digitalisation Strategy deliver on the commitments made by the government in the Energy White Paper and represents a significant step forward on the path to providing flexibility for our energy network.

Unleashing the full potential of smart systems and flexibility in our energy sector could reduce the costs of managing the system by up to £10 billion a year by 2050, as well as generate up to 10,000 jobs for system installers, electricians, data scientists and engineers.

A further 14,000 jobs could also be created by the export potential of these new technologies. For consumers, the benefits range from households being able to trade back their excess energy to reduce bills, through to knowing when the costs of running household appliances like washing machines and dishwashers are at their lowest.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “We need to ensure our energy system can cope with the demands of the future. Smart technologies will help us to tackle climate change while making sure that the lights stay on and bills stay low. The possibilities opened by a smart and flexible system are clear to see. They will not only allow households to take control of their energy use and save money but will ensure power is available when and where it’s needed while creating jobs and investment opportunities long into the future.”

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