BSE sector skills will be cornerstone of reformed electricity market
The skills of building services engineering operatives are one of the cornerstones upon which a future transformed electricity market – as set out in the government’s recent white paper – will be built, SummitSkills has said.‘Planning our electric future: a White Paper for secure, affordable and low carbon electricity’ outlines how the government plans to ensure that the UK has a secure, cost effective and decarbonised electricity supply in future. The document highlights that, due to age or inefficiency, in the next decade a quarter of the country’s electricity generating plant will be lost, leaving the UK more likely to experience blackouts and more reliant on less flexible (nuclear power) or intermittent (wind power) generation.
With the white paper also emphasising the need to largely ‘decarbonise’ power generation by the 2030s, at a time when both prices and demand for electricity are forecast to increase, the focus is on alternatives to current market arrangements and specifically the contribution that consumers themselves can make. In 2012 the government’s Green Deal initiative looks set to reduce the costs of energy efficiency measures and encourage the use of innovative technology to monitor and manage energy consumption.
SummitSkills’ chief executive, Keith Marshall OBE, said, ‘We are embarking on a new era for building services engineering. Our National Skills Academy will put operatives in touch with the training providers who will equip them to step up to the energy challenges identified in the government’s white paper.
‘The new SummitSkills apprenticeship frameworks for England, funded by the Skills Funding Agency, recognise the changes taking place. They will teach budding plumbers, electro-technical, heating and ventilating and refrigeration and air conditioning engineers how to install and maintain, and work together on, some of the technology that the government is counting on to reduce emissions. The government is depending on our sector to help change the way the UK consumes energy.’