Sacha Deshmukh: Smarter Britain, Smarter Economy

Without abundant energy, modern life would be almost impossible to imagine.

Almost everything we buy and consume has been produced and transported using fuel and electricity.

The links between economic progress and our energy supply are hard to question.

Energy powers economic growth.

But we don’t, unfortunately, live in a world of limitless natural resource.

Fossil fuels are finite. Renewable energy supply is increasing rapidly, but is still more expensive and often difficult to integrate.

We believe a flexible, digital energy system is vital for our future economic success.

Last week, we hosted an event with Lord Adair Turner and Sir David King sharing their vision of a smarter economy for Great Britain.

Sir David outlined how the UK is leading the way to tackle climate change. Instead of regarding it as a cost to our economy, there is a huge economic opportunity.

The low-carbon sector is set to contribute upwards of £45 billion a year in turnover, creating jobs and supporting wider innovation.

“There’s an incredible opportunity for businesses large and small, established brands and new innovators, to work with government to create a plan that will give Britain global leadership in smart technology”

Lord Turner expressed how we are on the brink of an industrial revolution, with electrification and smart meters serving as key driving forces that are integral to building a low carbon economy.

Both recognised the huge potential of smart technology in driving our economy forward and ensuring the UK continues to lead the way internationally.

They are not alone in this belief; new research carried out by ComRes for Smart Energy GB asked 500 senior decision makers at large British businesses about their views on our energy infrastructure.

Nearly all (95%) consider smart technology to be important for Britain’s economic growth.

New technology is forging the smarter economy – a connected future of fast-changing demands and sophisticated networks.

Smart grids will balance increasingly complex energy patterns, guaranteeing essential power to homes and businesses.

The smart meter rollout is at the heart of this digital upgrade, linking every home in Britain to a more intelligent energy framework.

Business leaders are increasingly recognising the significance of this rollout. In our study 86 per cent said in that they believe it is important for the British economy.

As we decarbonise the energy system, electricity becomes more and more important.

But no longer will it always flow in one direction from big power stations down to homes and businesses. Increasingly energy users will also be generating and storing power.

Smart meters are the vital building blocks of this new energy system. The data they generate will open up new opportunities for the sector.

Electric vehicles, clean energy research, industrial demand-shifting, disruptive technologies – all will be enabled by the smart energy system now being built.

There’s an incredible opportunity for businesses large and small, established brands and new innovators, to work with government to create a plan that will give Britain global leadership in smart technology.

Our study of business leaders found that more than eight in ten (83%) think that Britain’s energy system needs a digital upgrade.

At the same time nearly all (97%) of those surveyed said that it was important to ensure a resilient energy system for Great Britain.

With a smarter energy system, some of the old economic certainties are now being questioned.

Fresh opportunities are being created: new products, new jobs, new services and new ideas.

A smarter economy for Britain.

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