As the Minister of Department of Energy and Climate Change recently said, the top priority for the department is “Ensuring that hardworking families and businesses across the country have secure, affordable energy supplies they can rely on”. To do this, they mention they have firm mechanisms in place, working closely with National Grid and Ofgem, to maintain comfortable margins on the system over the next couple of Winters.
Equally important is ensuring that energy generators have the necessary confidence of revenues so they can maintain, upgrade and refurbish their existing power stations and build new ones.
Energy security threats
As above, a continuous and regular supply of energy is fundamental. In fact it plays an important role in a nation’s national security. When talking about energy, it encompasses everything from transportation to heating and electricity but this article focuses on electricity. Below are a number of factors or threats that impact on energy security.
- Lack of new power stations coming on stream to cater for existing power stations closing (e.g. the UK government has announced their plans to shut coal fired power stations by 2025)
- Increase in renewable energy (which can be unreliable and not constant – e.g. wind and solar) increases need for other energy sources (or energy storage) for when the Sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing
- Constantly changing Governments limit the ability to plan long term for energy security
- Low safety margin between supply and demand
- Natural disasters (e.g. high winds and storms that can affect electricity transmission lines)
- Unplanned non-availability of power stations
- Political unrest / disagreement in other countries can effect fuel supply routes (e.g. gas imported from Russia through Ukraine)
- Terrorist action
Today’s Energy Security Solution
Whilst considerable resources are being expended worldwide on ensuring our energy security, both short-term and long-term, there are a number of things that businesses can personally do to guarantee their own energy security. First of all power protection will ensure that regardless of any power cuts, your business operations are not impacted. In addition to the traditional diesel generator and uninterruptible power supply, with the advent of renewables (e.g. solar panels) and Energy Storage Systems, you can have the certainty of being self sufficient, or at least having the ability to be for short periods of time.