The UK’s first local energy market is to be piloted in the East Fife area.
SP Energy Networks has been awarded £20.6 million funding from Ofgem, the UK’s national energy regulator, to research three projects designed to help create a smart electricity grid which will be capable of coping with rising demand for power to charge electric cars and other low carbon technologies.
SP Energy Networks will use £5.3 million of the funding to carry out a five-year research project in East Fife. Called FUSION, the scheme will involve a range of partners including the University of St Andrews and Fife Council to create the UK’s first intelligent local energy marketplace where energy flexibility can be bought and sold by consumers in an open competitive market. It is anticipated that this project could enable potential customer savings in excess of £200 million by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions by over 3 million tonnes.
The UK’s electricity network has been traditionally largely based on ‘one way’ supply with electricity generated by a small number of large power stations. The rise in demand for electricity along with an upsurge in customers wanting to connect their own renewable energy sources to the network has led to a pressing need for the UK to develop a smart grid.