Response to The Institution of Engineers in Scotland Report

Yesterday (Thursday, 29th November), the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IESIS) published a report, Engineering for Energy: A proposal for governance of the energy system.  IESIS claimed that changes to the energy supply, such as an increased amount of renewable energy onto the electrical grid, could result in “cost escalation, increased incidence of power cuts and prolonged reinstatement of supply”.  IESIS also called for the introduction of a “National Energy Authority… to ensure the provision of fit for purpose energy infrastructure.”

In response, Faraday CEO Andrew Scobie says that only radical change of the electrical grid will deliver the low carbon future we all desire, arguing that innovation, not more bureaucracy, will enable sustainable prosperity for all.  

Faraday Grid welcomes the intervention of IESIS in the debate about the limitations of the current electricity system.  My colleagues and I travel the world to discuss the imminent energy crisis we are facing, and explain how Faraday can resolve the energy trilemma once and for all.  The more awareness about this critically important subject, the better.

Faraday agrees that simply increasing the amount of volatile renewables onto the electricity system is not the panacea for a low carbon future.  Pushing hard for carbon reductions and renewables before addressing the energy technology deficit is a road to serfdom. 

Across the world, we are witnessing governments introduce political targets to reduce carbon emissions.  In Australia, we are currently seeing six solar PV panels added every minute, leading to a situation that the Energy Security Board has labelled “anarchy”.  And here in the United Kingdom, today there are more than 1,000,000 points of energy generation.  As recently as 2004, there were only 80. 

A centralised rigid system simply cannot manage this – it would be like having one control room for the entire internet.  What’s required is an open and de-centralised energy platform to enable millions of users to connect.  And at Faraday, this is exactly what we’ve done.

Through a focus on affordable, reliable and clean energy, Faraday has resolved two of the biggest problems facing grids today: how to maintain network stability and increase renewables into the energy mix.  Faraday’s complete design transforms the energy system by providing an enabling platform for distributed energy resources, driving a more competitive market by opening it up to a greater mix of producers and service providers, delivering optimal solutions to consumers.

This is possible by solving energy transportation at a fundamental physics level, which is resolved through “Emergent Transactional Platform” and the “Faraday Grid”; all underpinned by “Faraday Exchanger” hardware.

Faraday shifts the centre of the energy system to the grid.  The Faraday Grid is agnostic to the nature of supply and demand.  Physically replacing the transformer, it meets the utility’s needs, and provides a range of services required to enable greater integration of variable energy, and manage for increasingly unpredictable consumer patterns, and increased reliance on electricity for heat and transport.

So while we agree with IESIS that the limitations of the electricity system need to be addressed, we disagree that another layer of bureaucracy, such as the introduction of a “National Energy Authority”, is required to ensure the provision of fit for purpose energy infrastructure.  We don’t need new industry policy or intervention.  Friedrich August von Hayek said; "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to humankind how little they really know about what they imagine they can design."

Governments don’t innovate, individuals do.  And innovation is essential to solving the climate change dilemma without bankrupting our societies.  We need to democratise our relationship with electricity to allow the prospect of endless innovation and the resolution of the energy environment crisis.  We can’t dictate how to solve the problem and therefore intervention, industry policy and regulation are set to fail.  They simply limit what we imagine we can design to the dreams of policymakers.

The Faraday Grid is an energy system that enables rather than constrains human ambition.  Our future doesn’t need to be more fragile, more expensive or more vulnerable.  We can have a low carbon future of greater prosperity and human choice.