Energy efficiency and demand reduction could play key role in energy security strategies, according to UK Energy Research Council
Energy efficiency and demand reduction strategies will be crucial for ensuring the future security of the UK's energy supply, a new report from the UK Energy Research Council (UKERC) argues.
The paper, released today, points out that improving the UK's energy efficiency and rolling out demand reduction technologies, particularly in the form of demand-side response services, could help reduce the country's exposure to risks such as price shocks and energy shortages.
To reach its conclusions UKERC modelled six distinct future energy scenarios, and it found that the two with the lowest energy security risk also have the lowest primary energy demand.
However, the paper warns a transition to a low-carbon energy system does not automatically guarantee more energy security.
The relationship between decarbonisation and energy security is "not straightforward", UKERC said, and new security risks could emerge from the shift to more complex electricity systems and fresh approaches to balancing supply and demand.
However, significant risks to security can still be mitigated as the system decarbonises, UKERC argued.
"This analysis demonstrates that gas and electricity system security can be significantly enhanced not only by investment in conventional supply resources, but also by improving system flexibility through demand side response, gas storage and interconnection, which is also important for facilitating cost effective decarbonisation," said Professor Goran Strbac, UKERC researcher at Imperial College London. "Achieving this would require changes in regulation and market rules."
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