University of Bath hears from EI Chief Executive on changing relationship between energy and people

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‘The balance of power is shifting’ said EI Chief Executive Louise Kingham OBE FEI as she spoke on the transitioning relationship between people and energy at the University of Bath in November.

Presenting a lecture entitled ‘People and energy - a relationship in transition’, Louise discussed how energy is evolving from ‘big energy, small consumer’ to one that is balanced more in favour of consumers, thanks to four parallel trends - decarbonisation, decentralisation, digitalisation and democratisation.

We’re seeing increasing amounts of small power sources – wind and solar in particular - connected to the energy system on the local distribution networks, or even behind the meter on individual buildings’, she said. The result is a growing army of ‘prosumers’ – that’s people who are both producing and consuming energy. 

Louise set out an optimistic view that advances in technology and human ingenuity, allied with changes in how we live our lives could yet avert the worst impacts of climate change at the same time as opening up access for more than a billion people in the world still living without electricity. However, Louise also advised a ‘reality check’ stating that it would be a ‘lengthy transition’ with ‘the need to protect the most vulnerable in society along the way’.

Watch Louise’s full lecture at 

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