The UK government’s new Industrial Strategy has placed smart energy systems at the heart of its “unashamedly ambitious” development agenda.

Published on 27 November 2017, the plan identifies decarbonisation as one of the “greatest industrial opportunities of our time”, with the modernisation of Britain’s electricity network and integration of smart technologies and renewable generation essential in this transition.

Smart meters – to which the government is committed to rolling out nationally by 2020 – are just the beginning of the smart energy system, the strategy outlines.

Alongside smart meters, the government explains how it also intends to embrace other new smart innovations, including energy storage and demand management, as it looks to achieve a more flexible energy grid, and in turn, cleaner economic growth.

“Smart systems can link energy supply, storage and use, and join up power, heating and transport to increase efficiency dramatically,” states the strategy. “By developing these world-leading systems in the UK, we can cut bills while creating high value jobs for the future.”

The strategy’s approach – centring on the establishment of localised smart energy grids as well as the national power network – is the result of 2,000 responses to the original green paper, and also comes on the back of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, which emphasises the importance of greater industrial energy efficiency.

This new plan will work alongside the Clean Growth Strategy – published in October – as the UK works towards meeting its future carbon budgets.

Meanwhile, as part of the Industrial Strategy, further details were given regarding the government’s £400 million EV charging infrastructure fund pledged during the Autumn 2017 Budget, with a zero emission road transport strategy set to be unveiled in the new year.

This will include new legislation forcing new homes to be EV charge point-ready; built with all the required cabling pre-installed.

The full 255-page document, focusing on on how the Government aims to support business innovation in the areas of AI, clean growth, medical care and driverless vehicles, can be found here.