More than a few changes are coming to energy in 2017
The energy sector is an ever-changing beast, in constant flux and driven by a broad range of political, economic and technological variables to which we all must adapt. But even more so than previous years, 2017 promises to deliver a number of key changes which will affect both the direction and speed of motion for the cogs of the industry. Here’s 4 of my favourite New Year Revolutions:
P272 and the birth of demand side response
If you’re an energy broker, then hopefully you are aware that by 1st April 2017, all relevant 05-08 profile NHH meters will effectively become settled on a half-hourly basis. OFGEM’s objective here is multi-faceted, but at UtilityClick, we particularly like the opportunity opened up for demand side response technologies for major corporate energy consumers. If you aren’t ready for the change to HH pricing, it’s time to get moving.
Battery storage seriously on the up
Advances in battery and solar technologies have paved the way for an exciting era of change for the safe and efficient storage of energy – on both a corporate and domestic scale. Industrial level storage projects are an exciting and now-realistic alternative to fossil-fuel generation at periods of peak consumption and the dramatic cost reduction in lithium-ion battery technology brings the opportunity for local storage to the home – take a look at Tesla’s Powerwall 2 battery technology. Efficient storage further improves the economics of solar and renewable projects and we see the beginnings of a dynamic and flexible electricity grid.
Water deregulation? But few brokers are prepared
Following in Scotland’s footsteps, from April the market is set to be fully deregulated – opening up potential savings for business water and waste water procurement. But from our perspective, the market seems ill-prepared. For brokers, margin expectations are low and whilst a side business and opportunities for cross-selling are evident, systems and processes need to be improved in order to begin the migration of millions of SME and corporate users to new suppliers. We don’t expect a smooth rollercoaster of change, but rather a slow and bumpy ride for the first few years.
Electric cars accelerating towards reality
The prospect of fully-electric cars is nothing new, and models have been around for years. But 2017 promises a great deal with the advent of affordable and attractive options for the consumer. Public support of plug in electric vehicles and economic viability through technological advancement has cleared a path for major car manufacturers and embryonic startups alike. Just take a look at the Faraday Future FF91 to get a glimpse into the possibilities, whilst Tesla’s Model 3 and Chevy’s Bolt are amongst a line-up of realistic alternatives for the daily commute.
I’m not even going to touch on the macro level. 2017 will be another tempestuous year – oil price recovery following global production cuts, the dawn of the Trump administration and a re-incentivised US oil industry, the fallout from Brexit… these are topics we’ll cover in future articles.
2017 is an exciting year for the wider energy industry, and we’re glad to be a part of it.