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Smart grid industry provides alternative investment opportunities

Published: 27 March 2015 - Marianne Evans
Fossil fuels are falling out of favour with major banks, fund managers, large corporates and educational institutions as reports describe the risks associated with ‘stranded assets’ as ‘regularly mispriced’ and ‘poorly understood’.
Changing social attitudes, consumer behaviour, government regulations and falling clean technology costs, are risk factors that are causing growing numbers of investors to divest from fossil fuels and look at alternative markets.
Chairman of Reactive Technologies, Volker Beckers said: “If the Government is to achieve its challenging climate change goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% over the next 35 years, while increasing the amount of energy the UK receives from low-carbon technologies, then investment in smart grid technologies, such as demand-side management is essential. It is time to stop using intermittency as a scapegoat for maintaining the status quo and to deploy technologies, like demand-side management, that can add resilience to our electricity network and contribute to decarbonising our energy system.”
Award for smart grid innovation
A recent report by a Commons Select Committee on energy and climate change called for greater use of smart technology, rather than the continued use of polluting fossil fuels such as coal, to help cut the demand for electricity during times of peak demand.
Innovation continues to develop at a rapid pace as new technologies accelerate the transition of the UK’s aging electricity infrastructure into low carbon generation embedded in a smart grid network. Or, you simply call it a low carbon smart grid system.
Frost & Sullivan has announced UK-based Reactive Technologies as the winner of its ‘2015 European Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award’ for its Tradenergy demand-side response platform.
Following its review of the European ICT and Smart Energy industry, Frost & Sullivan’s report recognised the ‘entrepreneurial spirit and disruptive IT-based technology’ of Reactive Technologies ‘which is driving change in the electricity sector’.
Yiru Zhong, Frost & Sullivan research analyst said: “Reactive Technologies has been able to make deep inroads into its conservative end-user base on the strength of its cost efficiency and demonstrates a deep understanding of the marketplace by emphasising the IT angle of its solution. This start-up company has an elegant IT solution that empowers traditional grid stakeholders and end-users to help actively balance the energy system cost-effectively with minimal operational impact but with material and enduring financial gain.”
Marc Borrett, CEO of Reactive Technologies said: “Our approach to energy management represents one of the most significant and exciting changes to the energy market for many years. We allow commercial and industrial energy consumers to take control of their energy use and network operators to efficiently manage the electricity network. Competitive on carbon and cost, demand side management offers untapped potential to an energy system under stress. We are now able to begin scaling up our activities in the UK and more widely in Europe, through our own operations and with interested commercial partners.”
Ian Mays, Group CEO of RES commented: “As a lead investor in Reactive Technologies, we are encouraged to see the platform yielding clear benefits for major energy users such as supermarkets, hotels, campuses and office buildings. Capable of managing millions of individual electrical assets across large multi-occupancy sites in order to flexibly control energy demand is challenging. Reactive Technologies has overcome this challenge with its next-generation demand-side management capabilities.”
Raising energy prices to meet the growing demand for electricity in the UK and help pay for new infrastructure is not working, claimed Reactive Technologies.
What is needed is flexibility in demand. Tradenergy allows commercial and industrial consumers to adjust their demand profile in response to price signals from the market without generating new carbon emissions.
Mobilising flexibility in demand will help avoid blackouts, provide affordable electricity and support a decarbonised electricity grid.

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