The Energy Transition

Our energy system is in the middle of a major transition as we respond to the unfolding climate crisis:

  • It has become more decentralised with many small generators, rather than a few large fossil fuel powered ones ones.
  • Growing electricity demand from appliances will be further increased by electric heating and electric vehicle charging.
  • Installation of renewable energy needs to accelerate to meet carbon reduction targets.
  • Due to the variable nature of the weather, renewable sources are intermittent.
  • It is getting harder to balance energy supply and demand, especially at peak times, as decentralised renewable generation is a lot harder to control.
  • To meet peak demand power generation is often ramped up by using the most carbon intensive and expensive fuels.
  • Costly upgrades to the electricity network will be required with greater environmental and resource impact, as well as financial consequences for consumers, if demand is not managed effectively.
  • We need to consider when we use electricity, as well as how much we use, to minimise carbon emissions and expensive and resource intensive manufacture and installation of new technology. Shifting when you use electrical appliances from 8pm in the evening to 2pm in the afternoon can cut carbon emissions by up to 50%.

A big factor in how we bring about the energy transition to effectively meet our climate change targets will be how far we, as households and organisations, change the way we use energy and what the best mechanisms are for achieving this e.g:

  • Smart technology, which we are exploring in our Flex Community Project
  • Pricing mechanisms such as Time Of Use tariffs
  • Promotional campaigns and collective behaviour change in communities

More information on the energy transition: