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George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, has given a speech to the Royal Society in which he stated that the UK must become a global leader in several low carbon technologies. To the delight of the Society members, he described his aim to exploit the economic benefits of scientific excellence, and listed eight technologies that are being developed where the UK could become the world leader.
The technologies he listed include: the ‘Big Data’ revolution, energy efficient computers, the development of regenerative medicine, agri-science, energy storage, creating advanced materials, and autonomous systems, satellites and applications to be used in space.
Energy storage seems to be one of Osborne’s favoured technologies, and it would certainly benefit the UK’s growing renewable energy sector, by regulating the power generation levels.
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“There is the challenge of storing more electricity for the grid,” he said. “Electricity demand peaks at around 60GW, whilst we have a grid capacity of around 80GW – but storage capacity of around just 3GW.”
“Greater capability to store electricity is crucial for these power sources to be viable. It promises savings on UK energy spend of up to £10bn a year by 2050 as extra capacity for peak load is less necessary.”
This new speech by Osborne, and the fact that it includes new clean technologies, suggests that he is willing to boost green growth in the UK. However the failure to mention anything about climate change, or the row about onshore wind development, asks questions about his commitment to the climate.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com