UK smart grid revealed

For immediate release – Wednesday 13 November 2013

Politicians and industry have celebrated the innovation taking place on the UK energy networks today as more than 650 experts take part are in a 2-day smart grid summit in Brighton.

Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex MP opened the Low Carbon Networks Fund Conference, which showcases how a smart grid will save customers money while enabling the low carbon economy. Delegates from across Europe and the world have come to hear speakers and exhibitors from across the UK energy industry, consumer groups, SMEs and ICT companies. They will be setting out learning from time of use tariff trials, self-healing networks and how to affordably connect renewables and low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles.

Opening the conference, Shadow Energy Minister Tom Greatrex MP said:

"Networks are the mesh that hold the rest of the energy industry together and without them we cannot achieve our goals for the future. You can't address the issues ahead without significant involvement of the networks and Labour have always been a constant and committed supporter of smart grid technology."

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association who organise the conference on behalf of Ofgem and the network operators, said:

“We are showcasing a glimpse of our UK energy future and seeing how a more resilient network can manage the challenges of low carbon technologies and varying patterns of energy demand. Critically though, we are putting customers, and the affordability of their bills, at the centre of this innovation.

“The Low Carbon Networks Fund is unparalleled and it is made all the more unique by the importance placed on the sharing of learning that attracts people from across the world. This collaboration is turning the theory of a smart grid into a reality.”

Hannah Nixon, Senior Partner at Ofgem, said:

“Innovation is essential if consumers are to get the energy network services they deserve at a fair price.  Ofgem’s LCNF is designed to drive that innovation and ensure what is innovation today is business as usual tomorrow.  This conference is an important part of enabling stakeholders to share latest thinking and practice in helping to deliver a low carbon future that is affordable for consumers.”

Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive of UK Power Networks, co-hosts for the 2013 Conference, said:

“The industry has performed well since privatisation in terms of reducing the frequency and impact of power cuts and providing new electricity connections. One area we did not perform well in was research and development, but we have turned that around now.

“The LCNF projects enable us to prepare ahead of time for the changes which are coming and share in the latest breakthroughs to accelerate Britain’s progress towards smart grids.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

The Low Carbon Network Fund Conference is being held at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 November 2013. Delegates will be tweeting using #LCNF2013 and @EnergyNetworks will be tweeting content throughout.

Details of the all the innovation projects taking place on the UK energy networks can be found on the Smarter Networks Portal – www.smarternetworks.org.

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.

Energy Networks Association (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
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758
W: www.energynetworks.org

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