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Interview with Caroline Bragg, Head of Policy at The ADE

The ADE is an advocate for decentralised energy and the work you do helps to shape the industry, tell us more about how you work with the industry to do this?

The ADE works with Government, Ofgem, MPs, the press and other key stakeholders to represent the views of the decentralised sector in political and policy debates and decision-making.

The ADE has over 120 members and represents all areas of the decentralised energy sector, how do you help your members achieve their decentralised energy solutions?

The ADE supports our members through helping to create a supportive economic and political environment, within which their solutions can capture the full value they contribute to the system. The ADE also undertakes work to uphold high standards within the industry.

You are Head of Policy for The ADE, what does your role entail?

My role as Head of Policy is to lead our work with Government and others to deliver positive changes in the policy and regulatory environment for our members.

As a member of The Distributed Energy Show’s advisory board, how do you hope to work with the show to bring the industry together and add value to the industry?

I want to ensure the show successfully presents an often complex picture of changing economics, politics and policy in a compelling and meaningful way that allows the industry to cut through to what issues matter to them and sparks real ideas and discussion on how we move forward. 

The ADE hold The Decentralised Energy Awards, why do you feel it is important to give organisations recognition with awards?

There is so much great innovation going on in the sector that we need to celebrate! The Awards are a great opportunity for individual achievements to be recognised but also for the industry to reflect on its successes as a whole.

The ADE recently backed a report by Energy UK on the future options of EV charging, how do you see the infrastructure of EV charging benefiting the UK in the future?

Ensuring that the transition to EVs is smart is going to be crucial to decarbonising without breaking the bank. The impact on our electricity grids of millions of EVs charging in a ineffective way would be enormously detrimental to the costs we all face to decarbonise. The impact of millions of EVs charging in a smart way though is the need to build electricity storage that’s equivalent to power plants and that we can use to create a zero carbon electricity system.

In June 2019, the UK government passed legislation committing it to achieving ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. How are The ADE assisting to ensure this target is met?

Decentralised energy will be crucial to meeting net zero – whether that’s keeping down system costs through electricity flexibility, decarbonising our buildings with heat networks and energy efficiency or making the most efficient use of green gases through CHP to keep the industry competitive. The ADE helps to ensure decentralised energy realises its potential during the transition.

How do you think the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the decentralised energy industry?

Covid had a significant impact last year – disrupting industry, businesses and households. This had an immediate impact on households and businesses served by decentralised energy such as heat networks which the industry responded to by putting in place commitments to protect households during this time. It also had a knock-on impact on decentralised energy by significantly reducing energy demand and creating risks to supply chains and the workforce. However, the industry has adapted and managed the impact exceptionally quickly.

What are you most looking forward to at The Distributed Energy Show?

The mix of senior speakers from BEIS, Ofgem and others setting out their strategic vision for the next crucial phase of decarbonisation with really practically focused sessions talking about what reforms mean on the ground.

Visit The Association for Decentralised Energy on stand 1618.