Solutions that Support the UK’s Renewable Future

In the UK, the power market is undergoing an unprecedented transition. There has been a clear shift away from the predominantly fossil-fuelled, centralised generation model of the past. Energy is now being produced closer to the point of demand, with distributed energy increasing in relevance.

Renewables are on the rise, with the National Grid estimating that installed renewable capacity could grow to over 110 gigawatts in 2050, from just under 40 gigawatts today. The intermittency of renewables, coupled with the closure of ageing thermal plants, has led to increased demand for flexible energy solutions to bridge supply gaps and add stability to the system.

Increasingly, the UK’s energy market is being supplied by both centralised and decentralised renewables, supported by smart energy technologies that can respond to the market within seconds and keep supply in tune with demand. Given its role in bridging supply gaps between intermittent renewables and slow-to-fire thermal power generators, flexible distributed energy solutions, such as small-scale rapid-response gas-fired plants and batteries, represent the fastest growing sector in the country’s power market today.

UK Power Reserve – The UK’s Largest Flexible Distributed Energy Generator
Against this backdrop, Sembcorp acquired UK Power Reserve (UKPR) in 2018, the country’s largest flexible distributed energy generator. They own and operate a portfolio of over 1,000 megawatts of small-scale, fast-ramping power generation assets and rapid response batteries that help counter the intermittency of renewable power sources, supporting the shift towards green energy in the country. UKPR also adds resilience to the UK national grid by providing high-value rapid response ancillary services to balance the system.

The deal marks a major milestone in the transformation of Sembcorp in the UK – from a centralised utilities provider on Teesside, into an integrated energy business with operations across the country. Sembcorp in UK now has a total overall capacity of around 1,200 megawatts of power – the equivalent of power used in more than one million homes.

Said Nomi Ahmad, Head of Sembcorp UK, of this development, “Our customers all have one thing in common: the need for low carbon, reliability and competitively priced power. With the recent acquisition of UKPR, we have more than tripled our existing operating capacity and have gained substantially more in construction and under development.”

back to top