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Integrated Energy Solutions Could Save UK's Wholesale Energy Market £13bn a Year

Integrated Energy Solutions Could Save UK's Wholesale Energy Market £13bn a Year
22 March 2023

The widespread use of integrated energy systems could reduce UK wholesale energy costs by shifting consumption away from peak times.

Modelling by Cornwall Insight shows that this shifting could result in lower electricity costs. This could save the UK wholesale energy market £13 billion per year – a 25 per cent cost reduction.

With demand moving to times with cheaper prices, integrated energy solutions can reduce the need for gas-generated power during peak times. The use of intermittent renewable energy sources like solar PV, and integrated energy solutions also help to reduce the demand for gas. This, in turn, leads to a 4 per cent reduction in carbon emissions as compared to a non-integrated approach.

Anna Moss, Senior Consultant at Cornwall Insight said: “As with any innovative solution, there will be obstacles to implementation, not least cost, however, there can be significant payoffs. We have a long way to go if integrated energy solutions are to reach a 25 per cent reduction in wholesale costs and 4 per cent lower carbon emissions in 2035. Consumer engagement alongside investment will be crucial to achieving these goals.”


What is an Integrated Energy System?


Integrated energy solutions refer to a type of interconnected energy ecosystem, where households and businesses use an integrated system to cater to various energy requirements. Technologies such as solar panels or battery storage systems are optimised to deliver cost and carbon reduction and to provide an efficient and sustainable energy system.

They are also known as smart energy systems or distributed energy and can cater to various energy requirements, including on-site energy generation, electric vehicle charging, and grid balancing at the national level.

An example of this type of project is the Peterborough Integrated Renewables Infrastructure project (PIRI), the largest smart city energy regeneration scheme in the UK. The scheme plans to provide 80GWh of annual electricity needs and 25GWh of heat demand via a low-carbon power network by 2030.

PIRI plans to embed thermal and electric storage and flexibility into the initial design, to allow for the mixing and matching of supply to demand across heating, electricity and transport. This will also make it easier to incorporate new renewable energy resources as they become viable in future years.

Picture: a photograph of some solar PV panels with a wind turbine in the background. Image Credit: Pexels

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 22 March 2023


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