Smart Grid moves closer with networks projects announcement

29 November 2010

A smarter grid moved one step closer today with the announcement of £62m of funding for projects for the networks of the future.

David Smith, ENA Chief Executive said: "The funding of research and development projects for the networks is to be welcomed. The fund is an important contribution to the ongoing work of research and development into our energy future.

David continued "We believe that all the bids put forward are of vital importance and ENA continues to support a process where as many projects as possible are funded. This will increase learning opportunities, increase skills within ENA member companies and maintain the momentum that has been generated through the bid process, particularly partnerships with local organisations."

Looking to the role for Europe David said: "With the recent announcement of an infrastructure blueprint for the EU including work towards smart grids and investment in a North Sea grid for electricity, there are welcome opportunities for network operators to seek EU funding for research and development projects to make this a reality.

Clearly there is an enabling role for the regulators in terms of smart grid development. Ofgem has been quicker off the mark than most and the low carbon fund is an innovative approach. However, the EU must also play its part and identify central funds to support the work of the regulators and industry."

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. Ofgem announced the Low Carbon Networks Fund in August 2009. The fund will allow up to £500 million over five years, encouraging and enabling the transition to a low carbon energy sector. £64 million funding is available each year in the competitive element of the fund and a further £80 million is available over the five years to help fund smaller scale projects. A further £100 million is available over the five years as a discretionary award to

reward projects which bring particular value in helping the networks adapt to climate change while providing security of supply and value for money to consumers.

2. Ofgem estimates that around £32 billion will have to be spent on wires and pipes over the next ten years to meet the challenging needs of energy producers and consumers as we decarbonise the energy sector, whilst maintaining security of supply.

3. ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for electricity and gas in the UK and Ireland.

4. The press release from Ofgem can be found on their website at - http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Media/PressRel/Pages/PressRel.aspx

For further information please contact:

Tim Field, Press and Public Affairs Executive
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758
W: www.energynetworks.org