Innovation will deliver the secure and affordable low carbon energy future

For immediate release – Tuesday 24 November 2015

The industry’s biggest energy innovation event opened today in Liverpool as the Low Carbon Network Innovation (LCNI) Conference welcomes more than 1,000 delegates to the showcase of the UK’s future energy networks.

The LCNI Conference is the only event dedicated to the engineering innovations that will deliver smarter more dynamic networks in the UK. It looks at the outcomes and learning of the projects taking place right across electricity and gas transmission and distribution networks. The exciting advances on show include facilitating low-emission vehicles, diversifying gas networks for hydrogen, connecting more renewable sources of generation and getting biomethane into the grid.

Opening the conference, David Smith, Chief Executive of conference organisers, Energy Networks Association, said:

“We are demonstrating how the theory of innovation and research is transferred into practical improvements in infrastructure, working processes and technology. The networks in the UK are deploying the learning from this conference into their business as usual activity and playing a huge part in delivering security of supply that is affordable to customers while achieving environmental targets.”

Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead MP said:

“Policy makers have often underestimated the importance of networks, particularly those at the distribution level, to the energy transition which is upon us. We need to move forward rapidly to making smart grids which are compatible with the new energy world we are moving into. The future of smart networks is extremely bright, but it will require collaboration to deliver for consumers.”

Speaking about the role for gas, Alan said:

“The gas networks will also need to rise to the innovation challenge because the idea that we would be dismantling our national asset of the gas networks in the next few years is unrealistic. Innovation in gas will have a particularly important role in our efforts to decarbonise heat and transport.”

Whitehead also pointed to the potential for £13 billion pounds of savings for customers to 2050 from smart network development, as well as the vital role of the gas network in meeting the challenges of decarbonising heat and transport.

Maxine Frerk, Senior Partner Smart Grids and Governance at Ofgem said:

“The way we produce, distribute and consume energy is changing. Industry is facing significant challenges in moving to a low carbon future and ensuring costs are kept low for consumers. Ofgem's innovation schemes are designed to help industry prepare for a smarter future. This conference is an opportunity to share learning and to help turn innovation into business as usual, bringing costs down for consumers.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Tim Field MCIPR
Head of Press and Public Affairs
Energy Networks Association

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