Clean Growth UK Energy Challenge
Clean growth means growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving clean growth, while ensuring an affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, is at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy. It will increase our productivity, create good jobs, boost earning power for people right across the country, and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend.
During futurebuild, we are introducing a series of challenges, to be explored as part of our residency at this year’s event. Come and find us next to the Innovation Zone in the Clean Growth Café. Today (Wednesday), we have a focus on energy.
The UK has ambitious targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. Achieving those targets, while improving consumer experiences, will require a significant increase in the amount of innovation in the energy sector. Yet many businesses struggle to test and commercialise new innovations under current market conditions; policymakers face a challenge to understand the risks and opportunities in designing new market arrangements; investors grapple with evaluating returns on assets and innovation, without knowing how future markets will operate; while regulators may struggle to design rules to protect consumers if they don’t know which solutions are viable and will get traction.
Change is coming from multiple directions. Transformational, not incremental in nature. Characterised by unprecedented complexity and uncertainty. Unfolding at increasing pace.
Despite all this complexity, it is still the case that renewable energy needs to be scaled up at least six times faster for the world to start to meet the goals set out in the Paris Agreement.
The Government’s Clean Growth and Industrial Strategies set out the importance of clean growth to the future economic success of the UK. The transformation of the global energy system over the coming decades is expected to create whole new industries, with the Paris Climate Agreement estimated to be require USD$13.5 trillion of investment between 2015 and 2030. Reflecting this opportunity, the UK’s low carbon economy is expected to grow four times faster than the rest of the economy. The energy digitalisation sector alone will be worth £45 billion by 2025 and over £20 billion will need to be invested in electricity networks over the 15 years to upgrade infrastructure to meet the changing energy system.
Smart energy systems can intelligently link energy supply, storage and use, and power heating and transport in ways that dramatically improve efficiency. It’s a huge market opportunity, with $2 trillion a year estimated to be invested in global energy infrastructure.
In the context of the ‘whole-system thinking’ that will be necessary to deliver solutions some of the specific challenges that we face if we are to fully prosper from the energy revolution are as follows:
- Improving business and industry efficiency
- Improving the energy efficiency of our homes
- Rolling out low carbon heating
- Accelerating the shift to low carbon transport
- Delivering Clean, Smart, Flexible Power
If you have potential solutions to help contribute to some of these challenges, then come and tell us. Visit us in the café to contribute to the challenge wall, where we will be capturing the ideas, thoughts and potential solutions for all to see. Likewise, if you are experiencing challenges around energy, come and share them – who knows someone else might be able to contribute to the solution…