It looks ahead to investment challenges in all
the main energy sectors but in a Foreword
by the Energy Minister spells out the stark
realities faced in 2010 to stop the lights
going out. A fifth of existing power stations
were scheduled to close by 2020, and there
were the challenges of a climate change target to
cut carbon emissions by 80% by
2050, gas imports rising, North Sea production falling.
It was a scenario that led to the biggest
change to the UK's electricity market since
privatisation in 1990 and implementation of a
new support mechanism for energy generation - called Electricity Market
- with low carbon generation, and eventual
low cost, at its heart. And where both
investors and UK suppliers benefit.
EMR gives funding clarity to investors and
developers via new Contracts for Difference
(CfDs) because CfD projects have price certainty for 15 years. This guaranteed
stream gives developers confidence to make
the massive investments needed.
UK suppliers benefit because one of the conditions of awarding
major CfDs is there must be
a plan in place to involve UK-based suppliers.
To back this monetary and UK content
approach - the first of its kind in the world -
there are a range of initiatives to ensure the
UK has the manufacturing, products and
skills base to fill the supply chain needs.
Among organisations playing a big part in
this is the UK's Technology Strategy Board,
which is the UK's leading body in helping
industry innovate for success.
The Energy sector - taking funding commitment as the criteria
- is the number one priority in the Board's
2014-15 delivery plan
with 12 major funding programmes worth
£83 million planned for the 12 months.
Among these is up to £10 million to develop
a programme to demonstrate energy supply
chain innovation and a feasibility study which
aims to pull the latest manufacturing,
advanced materials, sensors, digital, communications and electronics
into the energy sector.
The TSB says there are "real opportunities
for UK business to develop innovative new
products and services" for energy and its
focus in 2014-15 is to:
• Grow and support the SME supply
chain - both by supporting those already
in the sector and by "joining up parallel
sectors" to attract new companies.
• Launch an Energy Systems Innovation
Platform - to speed up projects and
demonstration trials across industry, academia and the public sector.
• Increase international activity - to help
UK companies develop partnerships in
Europe and beyond.
• Launch an Energy Cataylst - to stimulate
SMEs to develop innovative products
and services with up to £35 million of upport.
The TSB has also earmarked £10 million to
its Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in
Glasgow (now including the National
Renewable Energy Centre) which is a worldleading centre
of innovation. Catapults bring
business, scientists and engineers together
to develop and exploit innovative products
and technologies. They provide access to
cutting-edge equipment and specialist facilities to
test ideas in reality.
All this underlines the unique position UK
energy finds itself - and in many areas it is
already leading the world (see panel).
"The challenge now," says GTMA CEO Julia
Moore, "is to make sure our engineering
resource is equipped to benefit from this
exciting sector and at GTMA we are looking
forward to playing our part."
Technology Strategy Board:
Offshore Wind: Britain leads the world.
Estimated to be worth £100 billion over
next 20 years.
Onshore Wind: One of the largest markets
in Europe, second only to Germany.
Wave and Tidal: World leader in development. Potential
£6 billion a year market.
Nuclear: New era of investment worth
about £60 billion.
Oil & Gas: Potential £200 billion from North
Sea in next 20 years.
CCS (Carbon Capture & Storage): Could
be worth £42 billion a year to UK by 2050.
Shale: Possible £33 billion investment.
Solar: Supplies 8% of daytime electricity
now; set to rise significantly.
Bioenergy: £44 billion value to UK by 2050.
SECTORS AT A GLANCE