The Policy Dragon’s Den: How to deliver a ‘smarter’ energy system


Paul Jordan, business leader: innovator support and international at Energy Systems Catapult, is participating in Policy Exchange’s Dragon’s Den event to debate possible options on how to promote a smarter energy system.

The UK energy system is undergoing a transformation towards a decarbonised, decentralised, and digitalised future. According to research by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London, a smart flexible electricity grid could help the UK cut carbon more cheaply, saving up to £40bn between now and 2050. The National Infrastructure Commission concluded that a “smart power revolution“, making use of interconnectors to other countries, flexible demand and electricity storage could keep cost associated with decarbonised and decentralised renewables to a minimum, potentially saving up to £8bn a year by 2030.

Energy consumers were previously thought of as relatively passive. But the advent of distributed renewables means that many consumers are starting to generate their own power. Consequently, the ‘home’ will increasingly become the arena where different strands of smart technology converge as consumers look for efficiency savings, either with domestic smart meters, smart technology, storage or with charging points for electric vehicles. Evidence suggests that the widespread rollout of battery electric vehicles (BEV) could have major implications for our electricity system, adding 7 GW to peak demand in 2040. Smart technology and controls have the potential to manage the additional load.

However, there is still much to do in the smart power space. Cross-market regulatory requirements required to address these challenges – and empower consumers – must be given careful consideration. Regulators will need to balance the need for data protection with supporting innovation through data and intelligence. Clearly, policy and regulation need to catch up with this emerging reality. This ‘dragons’ den’ is to debate possible options on how to promote a smarter energy system.

‘Dragons’ include:

  • James Heappey, MP for Wells
  • Rachel Reeves MP, Chair, Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee (invited)
  • Greg Jackson, CEO, Octopus Energy
  • Sharon Darcy, Director, Sustainability First
  • Paul Jordan, ESC’s Business Leader, Innovator Support & International

‘Pitchers’ include:

  • Simon Daniel, CEO Moixa Energy
  • Colin Calder, CEO, Passiv Systems
  • Ruth Percival, Commercial Director, EA Technology
  • Richard Dick, Chairman, Lucy Electric


Start date: 18 Sep 2018

Start time: 12pm

End date: 18 Sep 2018

End time: 2pm

Location: Policy Exchange, 6th Floor, 8 – 10 Great George St, Westminster, London, SW1P 3AE, United Kingdom