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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

The UK’s legal commitment to zero emissions by 2050 requires substantial growth in renewable electricity generation, but rapidly expanding demand is still likely to exceed supply.

As the government launches its Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) focusing on electricity supply, UK FIRES have published a new report detailing the even greater scale of opportunity for energy sector innovation on the demand side.

Where new installation of renewable supply is expected to be worth up to £23bn per year, demand side innovation could be worth nearly ten times more, up to £200bn per year, through a combination of new approaches to delivering energy efficiency, electrification of existing fossil-fueled equipment, innovations that support time-shifting demand and decommissioning old assets.

"Government policy to date has been heavily weighted towards the supply of zero emissions energy, but we won’t have as much of it as we want. What this report celebrates is the huge and largely un-noticed opportunity for business growth in delivering the products and services of energy saving," Professor Julian Allwood, Department of Engineering

This new report reveals four substantial business growth opportunities created by this likely shortage.

UK Fires is a collaboration between the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Nottingham, Bath and Imperial College London funded by EPSRC.