Innovation fund continues to deliver the future

For immediate release – Wednesday 24 October 2012  

With the complex challenges facing our energy future in the UK, creativity and innovation are going to be an essential part of ensuring a sustainable, secure and affordable supply.

The electricity industry’s network operators are showcasing the progress of the 30 Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCN Fund) projects over the next two days in Cardiff where the Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones will speak at the LCN Fund Annual Conference.

The LCN Fund is an annual competition run by the energy regulator Ofgem to enable research and development to look at how to innovate and adapt the electricity networks for the future. The fund makes available up to £500m over the five years of the competition for projects. It is unique across Europe and is revered by the industry around the world.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association (ENA) which represents the network companies and runs the LCN Fund Conference on behalf of Ofgem, said;

“The LCN Fund is paving the way to an innovative and smarter energy future. Everything the UK is looking to do for our energy future depends on the creativity of these projects and our engineers. The progress so far shows the vital role the networks have to play to achieving an affordable low carbon future.

“Having delegates here from across Europe and the United States shows how valued this initiative is. It is an unparalleled opportunity for engineers to share their learning for the benefit of all customers. They are, after all, the most important factor here and our work is to ensure we make the best use of their money to save them greater increases in the future.”

Hannah Nixon, Senior Partner Distribution at Ofgem said:

“The LCN Fund was developed to deliver essential innovation needed by the energy industry to modernise the electricity network. Smarter solutions can help reduce the cost of network investment needed to rewire Britain. Knowledge-sharing events at conferences like this are crucial for helping industry to deliver workable, value for money solutions for Britain’s consumers.”

Paul Jewell, Policy Manager for the LCN Fund Conference co-hosts Western Power Distribution, said:

“The LCN Fund is a truly collaborative approach to the innovation for the future that we need. Sharing research and development in this type of forum with other network operators will ensure we have an electricity network that is value for money and provides the best solution for consumers.”

ENDS

Notes to editor

The Low Carbon Network Fund Conference is being held at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 October 2012. Delegates will be tweeting using #LCNF2012 and @EnergyNetworks will be tweeting content throughout.

Ofgem announced the Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCN Fund) in August 2009 which runs from April 2010 to March 2015. The fund will make available up to £500 million over the five years, encouraging and enabling the companies to trial new technology, operating and commercial arrangements which can aid 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.

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

Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the regional electricity distribution business for the Midlands, South West England and South and West Wales. WPD delivers electricity to more than 7.7 million customers via its network which consists of 216,000 kms of overhead lines and underground cables.

For further information please contact:

Tim Field MCIPR,
Head of Press and Public Affairs
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
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