Industry associations Renewable UK and the ADE have urged industrial firms to step up demand-side response provision in order to cut costs and further decarbonise the economy by enabling greater penetration of renewables.

The two have published a report suggesting industrial competitiveness and decarbonisation go hand in hand. They called on government and the System Operator to continue to increase transparency of service procurement, and remove remaining market and regulatory barriers.

The report states that current market regulation has not kept pace with decentralisation, reducing the incentives for industrials to engage fully in flexibility provision. It suggests, for example, that energy intensive companies should be allowed to sell their flexibility on wholesale markets.

Speaking at the launch of the report, ADE director, Tim Rotheray, said it “challenges the idea that there is a tension between decarbonisation and industrial energy consumption”.

He said aligning with Renewable UK was about “two industry sectors sharing a synergy around industrial competitiveness and renewable energy; the two enable each other”.

James Heappey, MP for Wells and vice president of the ADE, suggested DSR is an “essential” component of a decentralised energy system with higher levels of renewable generation. But Heappey said he was “not sure the government has legislation or regulation right,” urging “removal of remaining barriers” and the need to “ensure transparency among system operators”.

Heappey also suggested while Westminster appears switched on energy storage, the importance of demand-shifting to policy ambitions is less appreciated.

Centrica and EDF sponsored the report. Centrica’s group corporate affairs director, Nick Baird, agreed that the ongoing “technology revolution” within the energy sector “is not yet fully understood”. He suggested a 50% take-up of flexibility and smart energy technology across the industrial, health, leisure and hospitality sectors could yield £1bn in annual energy bill savings.

EDF’s head of energy solutions, Vincent de Raul, said it is essential that industry continues to publish case studies to give businesses confidence in exploring DSR, and to repeat the message that customers remain in control of their operations.

Meanwhile, he indicated EDF has designs on SME sector flexibility.

“EDF has a 49MW battery, but we also operate a 50kW battery in the EDF trading centre. We need to show [customers] that size doesn’t matter. If you have the right tools, you can make money and contribute to grid security.”

See the report here.

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