Leaked details ahead of the publication of the government’s energy security white paper suggest that official targets for solar power generation will soar from the current capacity of 14GW to 50GW over the next eight years.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy says it also wants to see big increases in offshore and onshore wind power and a doubling of the country’s nuclear power capacity over the same period.
Last chance saloon
Richard Partington, managing director of Telford-based AceOn Energy, said he hoped the solar targets were reflected when the government finally unveiled its new energy strategy, possibly later this week.
But he said the strategy must also focus on driving more use of battery storage to ensure that all renewable energy can be stored and used when needed, rather than just at the point of generation.
“AceOn has been warning for some time that we are drinking in the last chance saloon as far as climate change is concerned. In terms of climate change, the cost-of-living crisis and the need for greater energy independence for the UK it was essential that the government showed greater ambition, set out a clear plan and acted with greater pace,” said Richard.
“To maximise the benefit of generating much more sustainable energy, it’s important to invest in the technology to store it. Here at AceOn we are making huge steps forward in this field, but the government must do more to support innovation amongst manufacturers.
A huge impact in reducing bills
“And it must support this with a series of incentives to the housing sector – both public and private – and consumers to ensure that both new and retrofitted battery storage becomes commonplace across our housing stock.
“Effective battery storage can make a huge impact in reducing bills by preventing the majority of solar being exported to the Grid when it’s generated.”
AceOn has just launched an exclusive partnership with challenger OFGEM-regulated energy supplier Rebel Energy to deliver lower bills for social and affordable housing tenants through a pioneering system which captures solar energy and intelligently stores it for use when the tenant needs it.
“Our partnership can offer local authorities and housing associations a green deal which encourages investment in renewable power to meet carbon reduction targets, while lowering household bills and providing an additional revenue stream for the landlord,” Richard said.
“We believe this sort of win-win-win innovation is exactly what is needed if this country is to hit its net zero targets and help prevent millions of people slipping into fuel poverty and is exactly the kind of thing the government must encourage if its energy strategy is to be successful.
“There is a pressing need for an integrated approach which makes using green power and doing the right thing a compelling choice for all of us. That means the sensible use of tax incentives and funding support alongside changes to the planning and development system and improved National Grid infrastructure to support green choices.
“The net gains of a successful transition to renewable energy for this country are huge. We could meet our net zero targets by 2050, create a thriving green economy which safeguards our future, lead the world in renewable technology and guarantee this country’s energy security.”