A small iron gate squeezed between a newsagent and printing shop off Carnaby Street in central London is not the obvious location for a business that could avert a British power crunch.
Step inside the cramped, white-painted offices of KiWi Power and it looks more like a tech startup than an energy business – as exemplified by the open shirt and beaded necklace sported by co-founder Ziko Abram.
In fact, it is the firm’s tech-savvy product that offers a way out of the long-term threat of blackouts and shortages.
A lack of investment in new power plants plus an accelerating closure programme for existing sites has meant spare capacity to deal with surges in demand caused by cold weather, gas import interruptions or plant failures has fallen from about 25% in the early 1990s to 5%-10% this year. However, higher than expected demand could see that margin fall to about 2%, industry regulator Ofgem admitted last week.