Smart meters, smart grid in Conservative energy plan


David Cameron,
leader of the
Conservative party
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 19, 2009 – The addition of intelligence to electricity networks through the introduction of a smart grid and the use of smart meters in homes forms the centerpiece of a new energy plan from Britain’s opposition Conservative party.

Other elements include a system of feed-in tariffs for home renewable generation and a national network of recharging station for electric and hybrid electric vehicles, as well as a home entitlement of up to £6,500 per home for energy efficiency improvements and the development of new low carbon energy sources.

The plan to create a low carbon economy is set out in a green paper, “The low carbon economy: Security, stability and green growth,” which says there is an urgent need to make the move to a low carbon economy.

“Britain is now in the grip of a full-blown recession and Labour’s debt crisis has put our public finances in chaos, with the worst budget deficit in the developed world… But we cannot simply rebuild our economy as it was, heavily reliant on a few industries and on a narrow range of unstable and carbon-intensive energy sources. The future must be different to the past.”

The paper says there are three main reasons for moving to a low carbon economy. First, it will strengthen the economy in helping to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, raise skills and improve Britain’s competitiveness. Second it will help guarantee energy security, with energy from a wider range of more dependable sources. And third it will help protect the environment for future generations.

In the introduction to the green paper Conservative party leader David Cameron says that while the vision of a Britain in which cars run on electricity and which leads the world in new green technologies is shared across the political spectrum, there is no sign that the present government has any coherent plan for achieving the technological change that this vision implies.

“It is a tale of personalities and of bureaucracies,” says Cameron, adding that the Conservative plan is not to micromanage Britain into a low carbon economy – because governments cannot effectively micromanage radical economic change – but to create new networks, and to create new signals for the market, in electricity, in heat, in transport, and in buildings.

“This green paper commits a future Conservative government to establishing the networks and to creating the market signals that will enable the full power of British engineering and British manufacturing to be brought to bear on the decarbonization of our country.”