November 2017

Distributed Energy: Powering Britain's Economic Future

Energy is vital to the operation of millions of businesses in the UK. Ensuring it is reliably available, used efficiently and priced competitively is essential for a successful economy.

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UK is the world’s fifth biggest economy

It has world-leading sectors and record employment levels, but the economy needs to be upgraded to tackle persistent challenges, such as productivity where we rank fifth amongst the G7 nations.

Energy plays a vital role in the UK economy and is critical as an ‘enabler’ for other industries by supplying reliable and affordable energy.
We believe distributed energy solutions could help users to use less energy, improve their performance, increase operational resilience, and access new revenue streams.
We’ve undertaken an estimate of what the economic impact to the UK could be if distributed energy solutions were rolled out across three key sectors.

Three sectors account for

27%
of UK Gross Value Added
of UK Gross Value Added
31%
of employment
of employment

This economic impact analysis shows the clear benefit to the UK economy of ensuring energy is used effectively.

If just 50% of these sectors utilised distributed energy, we could see a:

£980m
reduction in energy costs
£18.5bn
of GVA for the UK economy
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260,000
jobs supported in the UK

Distributed energy is a new market, on which is growing rapidly as businesses such as Centrica develop their products, services and offers.

We believe that more could be done to unlock the potential of these solutions and make the following key recommendations:

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to commit to assessing the role distributed energy solutions could play in delivering long-term energy cost reductions for the UK and promoting these solutions across Government and public bodies.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to consider if the utilisation of new energy solutions for larger energy users could represent a lower cost route to decarbonisation.
UK Government to review the incentivisation of businesses to utilise distributed energy solutions and the markets and schemes available to reward flexibility.
Download full report