Energy Live: Key Takeaways
More than 450 people attended the annual Energy Live conference, held in London last week. Organised by Energy Live News, the event took place at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden.
Based on the theme ‘Using Less and Building More’, the conference provided expert advice and insight from a cross-section of the energy sector.
Here are three key points that stood out for the energy sector.
1. Energy for the future
Tony Ward, Head of Power & Utilities at Ernst & Young shared his insight into the world of power politics and energy infrastructure. He suggested that we’ve lost sight of how secure and relatively low-priced our energy is, commenting on the natural tension caused by the affordability (social policy) against the security of supply and decarbonisation.
He said that whatever we replace our ageing generation capacity with will cost us money, adding that gas power stations would be the cheapest option but that this will put us at the mercy of global gas prices.
He mentioned that £11.5bn was invested in energy infrastructure last year, advising that we need regulatory stability to maintain and grow this investment, building our way to an energy future.
Having energy security means businesses can access affordable and reliable supplies of energy at a competitive price.
2. On the same page
Another interesting talking point centred on the issue of achieving a singular strategy for energy policy taking us forward to 2050. Political intervention is always a circular debate on energy but it is important to have an overall coherent strategy in place, with everyone working towards the same goal.
Embarking on the right policies provides a greater transparency to the sector, meaning that businesses can make informed decisions on how to reduce energy consumption and make savings.
3. Potential for growth
The third talk revealed that the energy sector:
• Creates 500,000 jobs covering a wide range of skills
• Invests £12bn in infrastructure (renewables, networks and thermal generation)
• Pays £3bn in taxes, contributing a total of £102bn to the UK economy in 2012.
Sustaining investment means the energy sector can continue to play a vital role in the UK, creating new jobs and empowering growth.
Consumers have lowered their bills – from 2007 to 2012, there was a 12% reduction in average energy usage. As a business, you can also save money by controlling your energy consumption.