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Nissan coy over energy future as it aims for new partnerships

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Nissan Energy has remained coy over its future in the UK energy market, but said its recent launch of domestic solar systems will “complete the puzzle” as it mulls further partnerships in the energy space.

Speaking to Clean Energy News, Francisco Carranza Sierra, managing director at Nissan Energy, said the solar launch fed into the firm’s vision of developing a “sustainable ecosystem” that incorporated homes and buildings as well as cars.

“We started with the car, then moved to the energy storage solution for homes and buildings, and now it made sense for us to go a step beyond and try to explore solar and home energy management systems,” he said, adding that the solar launch was Nissan’s attempt to “complete the puzzle”.

By installing small-scale generation and energy storage systems en masse, it opens up the possibility for Nissan to aggregate the total capacity in a similar fashion to the likes of Germany’s Sonnen and the UK’s Moixa.

Carranza Sierra said the practice was on Nissan’s radar, insisting that it would be an extension of the vehicle-to-grid model it is launching.

“The system just optimises the use, always respecting the preferences of the owner obviously. We believe it would bring much more value to society if the systems are somehow integrated into a wider solution, rather than being independently managed,” he said.

The launch was also given further context with Carranza Sierra pulling Nissan’s overall energy model into discussion. It has partnered with UK solar specialist Solarcentury for its PV launch, building onto existing energy-related partnerships with the likes of Enel, Eaton and UK supplier OVO Energy.

Carranza Sierra said it was important for Nissan, with its background predominantly in car manufacturing, to back up its sustainable energy vision with other expertise.

“It's not from one day to another that you can move to a totally different industry if you go alone. We believe in the partnership approach and we will continue doing that. We have partners already with a few energy companies in the past, we're going to keep doing that,” he said.

However Carranza Sierra was coy on the possibility of Nissan entering the UK’s supply market in its own right, stating: “It's probably too early to say, but you never know.”

“We'll keep exploring and our vision is powering the society with energy that comes from renewables and we'll see what comes in the future,” he added.  

Discussion surrounding possible new entrants to the UK’s power supply market has intensified in recent months with a number of experts insisting that diversification of the market in such a fashion is inevitable.

Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan hammered the point home during his keynote speech to the Energy UK annual conference last October, warning traditional utilities that new entrants could render them “redundant”.

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