As some of you know from blogs a few years ago this has been one of our ‘holy grails’. Use what you generate locally but can anyone use it locally without the need for expensive private grids. The UK is on the cusp of a big change. There are trials galore happening trying differing models for energy supply, decentralised supply, buying locally, dealing with grid issues and the list goes on. The National Trust is coming to the end of the peer-to-peer to supply arrangement in the Open Utility trial.
We have been selling our Snowdon generated hydro energy mostly to the Eden project in the SW. But energy is more than KWh and here in lies the confusion.
In the trail have we made more income? (a little bit) Have we helped prove that you can supply others (knowing where your energy comes from?) Yes. Will is continue. Yes ish through Good Energy but we don’t know what shape it will take and also a lot of the detail. The ever-expanding list below is an example of what’s on the go and in development of energy supply trials. People want cheaper, local or cleaner and transparent energy supply which breaks the current centralised system. The energy market will be a different place in three years time but for now the pioneers are pushing at the boundaries
- Sunshine tariff
- Tower Power
- Community Energy Supply for Urban Areas (CESURA)
- Project ERIC
- Peer to Peer selling
- Mull Access Project
- Bristol Energy, Our Power Robin Hood Energy
- Smart Heat Orkney
- Community Energy supply partnerships
- South West Water Sleeving arrangement
- Fintry Development Trust Smart Meter
…and the list goes on. Things are changing. People want control and to know how much, where, from whom they get their energy from and to retain more of the benefit for themselves or their organisation, company, authority or community. We are not as helpless as we once were
Whats next for us? We are part of a group working through the new consortium of Cyd Ynni we helped set up. The OWLET project is one of the first end to end energy supply trails in the UK. The trail is centred around the large village of Bethesda in Snowdonia. We are working with (deep breath in) Energy Local, Cooperative Energy, 10:10, Partneriaeth Ogwen, Ynni Ogwen, Ynni Padarn Peris, Scottish Power Energy Networks, Arloisi Gwynedd, Ynni Lleol, Welsh Government, Grwp Cynefin oh and with OFGEM and Elexon on basically what is a direct supply of energy through the existing grid by aggregating all of the consumers and the one generator (for now) into a single entity (a Community Energy Services Company..). a type of clever energy club using smart meters to measure energy use vs energy generation. This single entity needs a licensed supplier to balance and settle any additional supply or any export from the hydro and also to be the OFGEM licensed supplier, generate bills and so on. Coop Energy are doing a sterling job with us. (this is all very new to all). The outcomes we hope for this first phase? Cheaper energy for the consumer (who are also a part owner of the CESCo) more income for the generator (hopefully encouraging more local projects) helping load shift (using power when its much cheaper – grid and generator. Scottish Power (DNO) really interested in this par. Proving to the regulator that we are all grown up enough to be trusted with our own energy supply if correctly structured. The spin offs from this project are immense. all of this data can drive efficient through optimising white goods, load shifting to cheaper times of day, more info in real-time to the consumer and the list goes on and on. Lets get this first phase in first this summer, but its exciting times!