Lord O’Neill, a former chair of the UK trade and industry select committee and the UK Nuclear Industries Authority, has been appointed chairman of “SmartGrid GB”, a UK industry group to promote smart grid deployment.
Smart Grid is a system to bring more “intelligence” and efficiency to electricity generation, distribution and consumption.
“Over the next few decades every country around the world is going to have to switch to smart grid,” Lord O’Neill said. “This is a massive growth opportunity for our country. We have the skills, capabilities and technologies to become world leaders.”
“But the competition is moving fast and unless we get moving we’ll miss out on growth and jobs.”
“We now know that smart grid development could deliver £13bn of GVA (gross value added) to the economy whilst also supporting the growth of industries like electric vehicles and supporting an export economy worth £5 billion.”
“Lord O’Neill’s appointment as Chairman of Smart Grid GB is welcome news and I’m looking forward to working with him,” said Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change.
“In its first year, Smart Grid GB has been at the forefront in driving the smart grid agenda in Britain and Lord O’Neill can play an important role in maintaining that momentum.”
Earlier this year SmartGrid GB published a report called “Smart Grid: A race worth winning”, which identified major economic benefits for Britain if it becomes a global leader in smart grid development. The report found that deploying smart grid infrastructure was £19 billion cheaper than‘business as usual’, and there has been major growth in smart grid enabled industries such as electric vehicles.