A new initiative has been formed in the UK – the Smart Power Industries Alliance (SPIA) – with the intention of helping create new markets for innovative technologies and services and help consumers to become generators. Members include the Association for Decentralized Energy, BEAMA, Energy Networks Association, Energy UK, National Grid, Renewable Energy Association, RenewableUK, Scottish Renewables, SmarterUK, Solar Trade Association, and The Electricity Storage Network.
The Alliance supports five key principles:
- Consumers must be at the heart of energy policy by enabling households to play an active role in the energy system;
- Facilitation of the creation of new markets for smart services, ensuring that all participants can compete on equal terms;
- A whole system approach must be taken to smart energy by creating incentives for heat, transport and power sectors to collaborate more effectively;
- Smart power transition must be accelerated by providing consistent policy and regulatory direction; and,
- Smart power must be a centralized industrial strategy providing incentives for key sectors to invest in smart technologies.
SPIA chair Charles Hendry said: “This is a long-term change program, so we will be working together to ensure smart power has cross-party support and that it remains at the top of the energy agenda. We want to explain the huge environmental, social, and economic benefits to the public, and to help ensure these benefits are accessible to all in the new era of smart energy. Many people are already generating their own power and engaging with smart applications, but smart power has the potential to transform all our lives for the better, in ways that are creating real excitement today.”
The development of new smart infrastructure is expected to deliver economic benefits in the UK, with an estimated potential of £13 billion of gross value added and £5 billion of potential exports to 2050 as well as create up to 9,000 jobs over the 2030s.