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Energy Networks Association launches ‘Next for Net Zero’ incubator programme

18 January 2022

Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched an ‘incubator’ series which will showcase the emerging technologies needed to address the decarbonisation of heat, transport and industry and drive the UK to Net Zero.


The Next for Net Zero programme will be centered around quarterly events along with regular publications. ENA, in conjunction with key industry representatives, will delve into the topics and technologies which are drawing fresh attention such as domestic flexibility, system stability in a high renewables market and the future role of hydrogen, as well as many others.

The energy networks are driving innovation across all of these areas and, as the voice of the networks, ENA is uniquely placed to create a platform for policy makers and industry insiders to provide unique insights and effective solutions.

The first event will focus on the North Sea ‘supergrid’ and how connections can be consolidated or combined with hydrogen production. Taking place on Tuesday 8 February speakers include Jerome Mayhew MP and Asheya Patten, Commercial, Regulation and Customer Director at National Grid. Further speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Next for Net Zero will be independently chaired by Dr Barbara Vest OBE, a leading figure in UK energy policy for over a decade. As an Executive Council member of the Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies, an Associate Fellow of the Durham Energy Institute and the founder of the Durham University Alumni Energy Chapter, Barbara brings her expertise to identify emerging areas of energy transition where innovation is delivering tangible change.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy network businesses, said:

“As we act on climate change and begin to decarbonise new sectors it is imperative that we do so at minimal cost and disruption to the consumer. So far, much of what we’ve seen in the energy transition has been out of sight and out of mind for the consumer. Innovation is key to this, and the networks are stepping up to deliver it.”

Dr Barbara Vest OBE, Independent Chair of Next for Net Zero said:

“I started my career in the energy industry shortly after privatisation and the pace of innovation has only accelerated, year on year. It is a real pleasure to be chairing this new initiative where we’ll be answering the questions that are emerging as industry delivers on the government’s climate ambition”.

Notes to editor

Notes to Editors

  • Full details of ENA’s Next for Net Zero programme including registration for events can be found at:
  • Last year ENA announced that, in conjunction with Ofgem, network companies had unlocked over £300m of early investment in projects to support a green recovery from Covid-19.
  • RIIO-2 will see a raft of investments across the UK, laying the foundation for the UK’s Net Zero targets.

About us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

Press contacts

You can contact ENA's press office by emailing For urgent or out-of-hours enquiries from journalists, please call 0204 599 7691.