It’s been reported that the UK is planning for a four-day power outage as cold weather may combine with gas shortages, leading to ‘organised’ blackouts for industry and even households.
Chantel Scheepers, CEO of OakTree Power, a UK-based ClimateTech startup helping FTSE 250 organisations headquartered in London reduce energy consumption and contribute unused kilowatts to balance grid operators at times of stress.
“The only thing that’s more concerning than a potential four-day blackout over the winter is the fact that there’s no plan in sight to prevent this from happening in the UK on a regular basis. Just as there’s no long-term plan to ease pressure on rising energy prices, or a real strategy to meet Net Zero targets.
The UK desperately needs to change its approach to energy consumption, or else blackouts and further costly government handouts to alleviate rising costs will become the norm in our country.
To date, DSR programmes, which – if adopted by commercial and industrial properties – can make up energy shortfalls at times of peak demand, have been excluded from government planning. If the next PM wants to have a true impact on our climate agenda and avoid a difficult winter, they must make this proven scheme mandatory for all buildings in urban areas. Moreover, collaboration with the private sector to provide practical advice on how to get started in this scheme needs to be made a priority.
Just as with carbon reporting, DSR assessment reports should become mandatory moving forward, with properties failing to adopt the scheme receiving penalties for not doing so. After all, no capital cost is required to participate in these programmes, which ultimately reduce energy bills and cut CO2 emissions, crucially providing much needed flexibility load to local and national grid operators. Everyone would win at a time when everyone is losing.”