Smart grids will ensure affordable and low carbon security of supply

For Immediate Release: 20/10/2014

The UK’s largest smart grid conference has begun today in Aberdeen setting out the critical innovation and new technologies that will ensure security of supply that is affordable to consumers and low carbon. With almost 800 delegates from 14 different countries and over 75 exhibitors it is the largest smart grid event in the UK.

The Annual Low Carbon Network Innovation Conference has heard today how the developments for a smarter network will help to maximise renewables, enable community energy and deliver value for money from infrastructure.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association which organises the conference said:

“The coming decades will shape our energy future for a generation. As consumers we will use energy in more diverse ways, the energy networks will work in a more active way and the sources of generation we rely on will come from a broader mix, increasingly from our own homes and communities.

“The smart grid innovation being showcased here is supporting that and finding new ways to deliver a low carbon energy future that provides a reliable supply that is value for money for consumers.”

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

“The UK is leading the way in the field of network innovation, and I am delighted to be joining delegates from around the world to learn more about the fascinating projects that are under way.

By bringing together networks and other stakeholders to share knowledge, the LCNI conference will play an important role in ensuring that investment in innovation can deliver benefits for all customers.”

Maxine Frerk, Interim Partner for Smarter Grids and Governance at Ofgem said:

“Ofgem is committed to ensuring that its innovation programme supports the transition to a low carbon future. 

Throughout all of our innovation schemes we are allowing £109 million annually for network companies to try out new solutions so they can help to provide security of supply at value for money. Our next electricity distribution price control, which runs from next year, will also put greater emphasis on smarter grids, as Britain moves to a low carbon economy.”  




Notes to editors


As part of the RIIO-T1 and RIIO-GD1 price controls, Ofgem introduced two annual Network Innovation Competitions (NICs) - one for electricity transmission companies (Electricity NIC) and one for gas network companies (Gas NIC).

This year, Ofgem is also running the final year of the LCN Fund which is part of the current electricity distribution price control arrangements. From next year the LCN Fund will not exist but electricity distribution companies will be able to apply to the Electricity NIC. For the final year of the LCN Fund, as in other years, up to £64m may be awarded.

The Electricity NIC runs annually from April 2013 until March 2021. This year the available funding for the Electricity NIC is £27m. For 2015-16 and 2016-17 £90m will be available each year to fund projects proposed by electricity transmission and distribution licensees. We will set the NIC funding for 2017-18 onwards based on a review of value for money from completed LCN Fund projects. This revised amount, which could be profiled, will be at least £27m (the amount set in RIIO-T1).

You can follow the conference on Twitter using #LCNI


For more information please contact Matthew Pringle ([email protected] / 07792 220 974)