UK clean tech innovator Enertechnos today launches a new policy paper, revealing how large-scale energy wastage – to the tune of £1.5 billion a year – is undermining the UK’s net-zero commitments. The paper calls for a collaborative effort from Ofgem and industry to enable investment in technologies to future-proof the energy network.
The UK power grid loses around 8% of all electricity as it is transmitted throughout the network, accounting for 1.5% of UK carbon emissions and costing over £1.5 billion annually. This lost energy could power almost seven million homes each year.
With key sectors such as transport and heat moving towards electrification, the UK electricity network is facing a crunch point in capacity. To deliver the scale of power needed, networks must be as efficient as possible and ready to invest ahead of demand.
Ofgem’s RIIO-ED2 proposals, which will govern distribution network operators’ spending for the five years from 2023, have sparked debate in the energy sector, with networks and green campaigning groups alike calling for more ambition on net zero investment.
In their new report, Enertechnos warns that the current level of annual energy losses – enough to charge 6.8 million electric vehicles – will undermine the ability of networks to be environmentally friendly or deliver sufficient power.
Enertechnos believes Ofgem should use the ongoing price control review to ensure networks can invest in the most efficient technologies which will deliver cost and carbon savings over the years they are in the ground.
Specifically, Enertechnos has called on Ofgem to oblige networks to consider low-loss technologies in every investment decision and reward networks for setting out ambitious strategies to tackle losses as part of their Environmental Action Plans.
Dominic Quennell, CEO of Enertechnos said:
“As a member of a RIIO-ED2 working group, Enertechnos has been working closely with Ofgem and networks on the proposals being developed, and we hope that our new report will bring attention to the stark problem of energy losses as well as the steps needed to address the problem head on.
“Unnecessary energy losses in the system have been ignored for too long. This is a golden opportunity for industry and the regulator to ensure their networks are fit for future and for the challenges which will come with decarbonisation.”