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2017: The year the energy transition took hold
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2017: The year the energy transition took hold

You may have seen that Clean Energy News has spent much of this week recapping the top stories of 2017. To lift the curtain slightly, or indeed break that fourth wall, most news publications schedule pieces like this for this time of year not only because it’s the most logical time to do so, but because it tends to be a time when there’s not an awful lot of news around.

The summer silly season is famous in editorial circles and, indeed, August can be a particularly dry time. But the festive season has a tendency to be equally as sparse and, if you’ve got a weekly newsletter or two to fill, ‘year in review’ pieces are a great way of recycling past efforts.

Only, if you’re an energy publication at the moment, there’s no need for such filler.

This week, when most industries are either scheduling end of year drinks or recovering from them, the UK energy market has been full of activity. Just yesterday Shell had big news for the Big Six; innogy’s chief exec found out he was to have an extended Christmas break; Europe set the scene for a future, UK-less energy market that sounds downright brilliant; and National Grid looked to bring distributed renewables in from the December cold mild.

For a journalist on this beat, that’s enough big, breaking news to last you some time indeed.

But what’s also true is that all of those stories, as important as they are individually and in their own right, are evidence of what’s been seen across the entire energy market. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, things they are a changin’, and at some pace.

This past year will perhaps be remembered as the year the energy transition began to really, truly take hold. The three or four Ds – whichever way you looked at it – have been in discussion for some time but 2017 is the year they moved from those closed discussions and onto the networks.

We’ve seen clean, distributed generation smash records in the UK and beyond. Battery storage is deploying at far greater rates than previously thought, driving down technology prices at a speed that looks set to outdo even photovoltaics. Electric vehicle adoption – and the infrastructure needed to support it – has shown signs of the boom to come. Suppliers are aborting legacy business models for entirely new ones. Even petrol giants are seeing the error of their ways.

And those are just the headlines. Behind the scenes there’s all manner of innovation going on, all with one stated aim; to help the energy market adapt to a landscape that changes almost beneath its feet.

And we’re going to change with it.

You may have noticed that over the course of the last six or seven months the content on Clean Energy News has undergone its own transition, taking a far wider brief on the entire nature of the energy landscape in the UK and beyond.

We took that decision some time ago in an attempt to keep up with the pace of change in the UK market and chart that direction for the industry. We aim to do more of the same throughout 2018, delivering a news title that covers all you need to know about the energy transition as it develops. A news title that doesn’t balk at change, but embraces it. A news title that’s a little more proactive. A news title that’s a little more Current±

Liam Stoker's photo

Liam Stoker Editor-in-chief, Current±

Liam is editor-in-chief at Solar Media, the publisher of Current± and other titles including Solar Power Portal. Liam edits the UK-facing titles and has done since 2015, having joined the publisher as a reporter the same year. Previously, Liam has held positions at other London-based B2B publishers such as Pageant Media and Progressive Media.


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