Future of energy series
Turning the energy value chain upside down
Deptford Power Station, the UK’s first, and the world’s first modern high-voltage power station, opened in 1891.
In the century since, our energy value chain has been dominated by a small number of similar large-scale generators. But in recent years, government incentives and the falling cost of technology (up to 50% over five years), have turned the value chain on its head, and our energy system has become more demanding, more local and more dynamic:
These changes could support a transition to a low-carbon economy, create greater security in our energy infrastructure, minimise network costs, and reduce consumer bills. However, with distributed generation’s rapid market penetration – photovoltaic energy (PV), for example, is 14 years ahead of our 2012 prediction – the disruption in our energy landscape creates both near- and long-term network challenges, and means distribution companies must fundamentally change the way they operate.