Having signed up to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UK will need to diversify its energy mix if it is to meet the pledge to keep global temperature increases below the 2% pre-industrial level. We already know that wind energy is now cheaper than nuclear fuel and that technology is making all the greener options more viable and there are many advances also on the horizon and a new range of disruptive technologies appearing in the distribution chain.
Novello Search works with many CEOs, CFOs and businesses which have all experienced a landscape of change and understand this market and its possible directions.
Subsectors we can supply in:
- Oil & Gas
How we see some possible outcomes for the future of energy
Falling cost of battery technology
Thanks to the falling cost of battery technology and new opportunities opening in this market, businesses are more likely to invest in this sector. Energy storage will play an increasing role in developing new, more advanced energy systems for the UK, and will be key to decarbonising our energy supplies. Watch this space for Elon Musk. His R&D and investments into battery storage will certainly shape the future.
Decarbonising of transportation
Transport systems will all decarbonise in the future, and non-traded emissions from vehicles could be halved by 2030. Electric and driverless transport will help decarbonise the UK and reshape the ways in which we organise transportation in our towns and cities.
France and Britain are to ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 and China who is responsible for 26% of global emissions has announced its plans to do the same. There is real momentum here and pumps will be replaced by charging docks.
Solar power costs will significantly drop
Polysilicon – the main raw material used in solar module manufacturing – is, for the time being, expensive to make but represents the greatest opportunity for cost reduction. Over the next few years we are likely to see new, lower-cost methods of polysilicon production coming onto the market, providing cheaper alternatives for manufacturers.
The result will be that cost improvements will trickle down the solar supply chain, driving widespread adoption of solar power methods and helping the industry achieve its global potential.
Policy makers and investors will be forced to work more closely together on creating a positive investment environment, to tackle climate change. New financial initiatives will almost certainly emerge as the UK government woos the private sector into funding major projects. These may be in the form of more creative versions of PPP/PFI with tax breaks thrown in. Brexit or not Brexit, we still ned our energy.
The only concern might be if the tide of nationalism in the UK and political will of the government results in the UK wanting to take back control of its energy. We haven’t seen this so far with Hinkley Point C.
Consumers could see serious rises in energy bills post-Brexit
Energy bills will rise and energy security will diminish once Britain leaves the European Internal Energy Market (IEM), according to the National Grid. The UCL’s Institute for Sustainable Resources discovered that the UK could seek continued membership of the IEM under the Customs Union, in a deal like those offered to Turkey and Monaco. Terms of trade would require some serious negotiations if this were the case.
Hinkley Point additional power absorbed by electric cars
The National Grid has warned that peak demand for electricity could potentially exceed the capabilities of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station by 2030, largely driven by the rise in the number of electric cars on the UK’s roads. There could be upwards of nine million plug-in electric vehicles by 2030, in contrast with the 90,000 currently registered.
The trend for falling electricity demand because of less energy intensive appliances which we have seen in recent years could be reversed by the impact of so many cars’ battery recharging.
Tapping into waste and waste water to extract energy and clean water
New distributed systems will emerge by 2020, on the back of advances in the biotechnology used to extract energy from waste. The falling cost of industrial automation will change the way we approach global water management, so that wastewater will be viewed as an environmental resource.
Wastewater will increasingly be used to provide clean water and energy to industries and communities, creating a far more economical and sustainable approach to water resource management.