Report Highlights Significant Benefits of Network Innovation Funding

For Immediate Release: 01/09/2016

Report Highlights Significant Benefits of Network Innovation Funding

A new report has shown that network innovation funding introduced in 2010 kick started an important revival in Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) activity by Britain’s electricity distribution network operators (DNOs).

A review commissioned by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and HubNet into the outcomes of the Low Carbon Network Fund found that increased RD&D activity delivered much useful learning and potential for both future network cost reductions and improvements in service. Innovation funding allowed DNOs to trail activities which are now being used as viable ‘business as usual’ activities delivering benefits for customers, including active network management.

The report concludes by recommending that support for network innovation is continued in order that learning can be built upon and the revival in DNOs’ ability to lead research, development and demonstration is consolidated.

Welcoming the report, Energy Networks Association Chief Executive David Smith said:

“Network innovation funding has been very successful in enabling energy networks to deliver the smart network solutions that will be vital to facilitating our low carbon energy future.

Since the introduction of the LCNF the UK has become a world leader in the field of smarter networks. As the report recommends, continued support for network innovation is necessary if we are to build on this strong start and ensure that customers continue to benefit from this investment.”

Keith Bell, a co-Director of UKERC and one of the report’s authors, said:

“The electricity networks are key in enabling reliable supply of electricity and effective competition in the wholesale market. However, they face major challenges from changes to the generation mix and future demand for electricity for heating and transport. The challenges aren’t insurmountable but they need to be met cost-effectively. The LCNF has been extremely important in re-energising the network companies’ interests in innovation and providing a platform for finding out what things should be done differently.”

ENDS

Notes for Editors

• The full LCNF review report is available here: http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/publications/a-review-and-synthesis-of-the-outcomes-from-low-carbon-networks-fund-projects.html

• 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:

Matthew Pringle Press and Public Affairs Officer Energy Networks Association

Direct Email: [email protected]

Press Team: [email protected]

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W: www.energynetworks.org

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