Isle Energy Switch May Start in London
By Anne Lewis-Schneider
What has been labelled as an energy revolution is set to make the City of London more energy efficient and bring self-sufficiency to the city. It is hoped that this will bring about a change in the way energy is supplied in the isles into the future. A new form of electricity licensing will allow for the trade of electricity that has been generated by various projects in the area and the bidding for the new license is being forged by Boris Johnson. If the Mayor succeeds then this will pave the way for other areas to also apply for licensing and join the revolution.
Local authorities have long wanted to replace the UK’s Big Six Energy Companies who currently monopolise the selling of electricity and gas in the UK. The local authorities would like to be in the position to supply these services at a reduced cast to the consumer. Regulations in place at present are not conducive to this move happening and the energy market is very complex but the London bid may just be the catalyst needed to start the ball rolling in this arena.
Cornwall Energy spokesperson Ed Reed sat down with Renewable in the West Isles and made the point that many smaller groups would like to get involved with the supply of energy on a local basis but that legislation sided only with companies of the magnitude of the Big Six who supply to millions as opposed to the proposed licence that would allow for the supply on a smaller scale to thousands of consumers.
License Lite, as it is being dubbed would be able to circumvent the costs entailed to become a supplier and instead become subcontractors through third-party suppliers, thus avoiding the necessity to sign industry codes as is done by the Big Six. Island generated energy from wind turbines would not have to be transported over such large distances and would lower the prices of energy and electricity could be sold locally at below the high market tariff currently being charged.
The license application has sparked interest from the Outer Hebrides which I currently bogged down by extreme fuel poverty. A Comhairle spokesperson has said that this would allow them access to the commercial wind farms that are currently in the planning stages for the Isles, thus allowing for the set-up of local consortiums that would be able to supply local needs at a better price than is currently being asked. Lews Castle College is backing the initiative and has said that they see great benefits for the project and are working on how best to put it into practice.
Dr Ruairi MacIver from the college is impressed at the amount of problems that have already been identified, and for which solutions are being sought. He says that the initial groundwork will allow for other areas to modify the basics to suit their own individual requirements.
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