Britain's energy mix is changing and the way our gas networks operate needs to change too. Ofgem provide essential backing to innovative projects which aim to help make the energy networks smarter, accelerate the development of a low carbon energy sector as well as deliver financial benefits to consumers. The projects help develop crucial knowledge and expertise which is being shared across the industry.
ENA Gas Innovation Governance Group
The gas distribution and transmission network companies work together through the Gas Innovation Governance Group (GIGG) to explore what technological, operational and commercial projects are most suitable for the future needs of the gas networks. The representatives from each of the five networks meet each month to consider challenges that require innovative solutions, share learning and develop robust processes for collaboration.
The GIGG produces a quarterly newsletter to highlight their activities and to provide details of recently initiated NIA Projects. The most recent issue can be found here.
Gas Network Innovation Strategy
In March 2018, the GB gas transmission and distribution networks published their first joint Gas Network Innovation Strategy. This was coordinated by ENA/GIGG. You can find the strategy documents and more details here.
Gas Network Innovation Competition
As part of the RIIO-GD1 price controls Ofgem introduced a Network Innovation Stimulus, which includes an annual Network Innovation Competition (NICs) for gas network companies.
Through the NICs these companies compete for funding for the research, development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements. Funding is provided for those innovation projects, which meet Ofgem’s evaluation criteria
The Gas NIC is an annual opportunity for Gas network companies to compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements. Funding will be provided for the best innovation projects, which help all network operators understand what they need to do to provide environmental benefits, cost reductions and security of supply as Great Britain (GB) moves to a low carbon economy. Up to £18m per annum is available through the Gas NIC.
The objective of the NICs is to help network companies understand what they need to do to provide security of supply at value for money as Great Britain moves to a low carbon economy.
To access detailed information on the Gas NIC, please see Gas Network Innovation Competition on Ofgem’s Website
To access details on the Gas NIC Projects registered, please see ENA’s Smarter Networks Portal
The NIC call for ideas is now closed. A decision will be made by 31st January.
Gas Network Innovation Allowance
In addition to the NIC, as part of the RIIO GD1 price control Ofgem have introduced the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA). The NIA is a set allowance RIIO network licensees receive as part of their price control allowance.
The NIA provides limited funding to RIIO network licensees to use for two purposes:
- To fund smaller technical, commercial, or operational projects directly related to the licensees network that have the potential to deliver financial benefits to the licensee and its customers; and/or
- To fund the preparation of submissions to the Network Innovation Competition (NIC), which meet the criteria, set out in the NIC Governance Document.
To access detailed information on the Gas NIA, please see Gas Network Innovation Allowance on Ofgem’s Website
To access details on the Gas NIA Projects registered, please see ENA’s Smarter Networks Portal
Gas Network Innovation Problem Statements
Please click here for 'problem statements' applicable across the gas transmission and distribution networks in the UK. These were last published in 2017, and have now been incorporated in the Gas Network Innovation Strategy.