Bristol’s bold leap of faith
Like many local authorities, Bristol City Council isn't waiting for government to lead in the net-zero challenge; it's identified £1bn of decarbonisation projects and is seeking a private sector "strategic partner" to make them happen. Councillor Kye Dudd tells Network's Elaine Knutt about the plan.
Innovation for networks: beyond the buzzwords
As the electricity networks gear up for the next price control period, and the water networks get to grips with new deliverables under Asset Management Plan 7 (AMP7), companies in both sectors face considerable challenges.
Worry-free DGA monitor commissioning from Vaisala
At Vaisala, as well as supplying world-class measurement equipment for monitoring transformer oil, we are also here to make sure our customers can get the most out of their monitoring equipment, and help take the stress out of getting it up and running.
A collaborative approach to delivering DSOs
Han Xu, research and design engineer at the University of Strathclyde's Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC), on its unique capabilities to support the need for a flexible network.
Hydrogen boilers: here today, in your home tomorrow
Martyn Bridges, director of technical communication and product management at boiler manufacturer Worcester Bosch, says that he doesn't need a crystal ball to discern the future of domestic heat - in the company's labs, prototype hydrogen boilers are up and running.
Chinese university develops state-of-the-art software tool for Integrated Energy System planning
New cloud-based software for Integrated Energy System (IES) planning and analysis has been developed by researchers at Southeast University (SEU) in China, led by Dr Suyang Zhou and Professor Wei Gu.
ENW buys electric diggers to dig the road to zero carbon
Electricity North West is turning its streetworks operations a darker shade of green by purchasing two innovative JCB electric mini diggers, following a successful trial period.
Making climate change local with UK100
Global cities have the C40 grouping, and now local councils have the UK100 group to raise ambitions and share know-how on the clean energy agenda. The organisation's Hywel Lloyd and Polly Billington explain the challenge, especially with RIIO-2 on the horizon.
People & Skills
Free UW seminar: Improving digital experiences for vulnerable customers
Overcoming the challenges of delivering excellence in digital services to priority service customers will be the topic of a new Utility Week webinar.
“The further you go from shore, the more HVDC stacks up”
Grant McKay, ABB's marketing and sales manager for HVDC in northern Europe, discusses ABB's recent UK first: a contract to use HVDC convertor technology to link two forthcoming 1.2 GW North Sea offshore wind farms to the mainland transmission network.
Siemens launches new IoT apps and protection relay
Siemens is launching two new products at the European Utility Week show in Paris - a new suite of grid diagnostic apps that exploits Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and a new protection relay device, the Reyrolle 5.
“We’re having joint conversations, but behind on 2050”
Dr Sara Walker, a reader in energy in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University, is joining the judging panel for this year's Network awards. With the deadline now extended until 16 December - to accommodate essential RIIO-2 submissions - what does the judging panel hope will be in store?
Networks specialist joins free UW asset data webinar
Dan Wilson, asset data manager and Network Management System Data Lead at Electricity North West, will join the line up on Utility Week's forthcoming webinar on using AI technology to improve asset data.
Developing leaders for a low-carbon future
Tom Naughton, an associate at London based heat network consultancy FairHeat, describes its award-winning graduate training programme, and why similar schemes are vital to the sector's future.
Getting green networks up to speed
Decarbonising heat will involve a future switch to hydrogen, but how should that hydrogen be produced? And as consumers and businesses adopt EVs and take to the roads, are the network operators fully prepared? Tom Grimwood reports on the topics that topped the agenda at this year's Network Asset Performance Conference in Birmingham
Policy & Regulation
Flexibility platforms could launch smarter networks
Flexibility is the buzzword of our times, but it may ring hollow to the "flex provider" that just misses out on a DNO contract. Elexon chief executive Mark Bygraves explains its proposal for new online marketplaces that will allow buyers and sellers to trade with full flexibility.
“Awards help us to understand the art of the possible”
Paul Jordan, business lead for the Innovator Support Platform at the Energy Systems Catapult, will be joining the Network Awards 2020 judging panel. We asked him how he sees the role of awards events amid the wider challenges the sector faces.
The road to a low carbon future
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks' (SSEN) EV readiness manager, Richard Hartshorn, discusses the distribution network operator's role in the transition to a low carbon world for drivers, tourists and consumers.
Getting the power back on
National Grid ESO is aiming for a world first - coordinating multipe distributed energy resources (DERs) to provide a safe Black Start service in its Distributed ReStart project. Alec Peachey spoke to project lead Peter Chandler.
An alternative route to Black Start
Electricity interconnectors are increasingly adding flexibility to the high voltage network in Great Britain. But can their convertor capacity also offer a Black Start service to the grid? Oluwole Daniel Adeuyi and colleagues at the National HVDC Centre, operated by Scottish Hydro Electricity, discuss its recent scenario planning around an interconnector Black Start.
Technology & Operations
Innovation into BAU: three steps to success
It's always satisfying to see energy network operators' innovation projects turn - eventually - into 'business as usual'(BAU) and embedded in the everyday operation of the business, says Kelvatek's Jonathan Rodgers.
Dealing with a digitalised grid if the internet breaks down
What might happen to a digitalised grid if the internet breaks down? Phil Lawton, power systems practice manager at the Energy Systems Catapult, asks and answers a difficult question
RIIO-ED2: a unique opportunity for change?
Christopher Watts, director for regulatory affairs at S&C Electric Company, discusses RIIO-ED2 and how the role of networks is changing.
Safeguarding staff from mental health hazards at work
Promoting physical safety has become critically important across the sector, with many organisations priding themselves on a zero-tolerance approach to hazards in the workplace, writes Nadine Buddoo.
“We need to retrain boiler engineers in low carbon heat skills”
With heat decarbonisation rising up the agenda, the UK needs a new programme to re-skill gas boiler engineers and plumbers in decarbonised heat technology, says Network Awards 2020 judge Lily Frencham of the Association for Decentralised Energy.
Rolling out the Pollywood pole
Quentin Kopp, chairman of Pollywood, discusses a new way to make electricity poles using 85% less wood.
H21 project highlights potential of hydrogen
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that hydrogen is a credible option to help decarbonise the UK energy system. Network editor Alec Peachey examines the progress being made and some of the challenges that remain.
How materials science will underpin the future energy network
What are the materials that will serve as the backbone for electrical energy storage, renewable energy generation, gas and the grid itself in the future, and how might they underpin the future of the energy network? Four academics from Newcastle University and Durham University discuss the role of materials science in developing new network capacity.
Adopting new technology: the view from Senergy
In our latest interview with small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) on their work with the networks, Network speaks to Senergy chief executive Christine Boyle MBE.
Network Awards 2020: Q&A with judge John Scott
The entry window is now open for this year's Network Awards. But just what are the judges looking for? Network speaks to Chiltern Power's John Scott, a member of our 10-strong panel.
Delivering the smart grid with bandwith for the future
The Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) is undertaking a project to address the bandwidth and security requirements for the smart grid. Kinan Ghanem, communications and systems integration lead, discusses how the project is progressing.