Energy networks unveil plans for joint innovation strategies

The UK's energy networks have unveiled plans to develop their first ever joint innovation strategies - one each for gas and electricity.

Energy networks unveil plans for joint innovation strategies

The strategies will set out how the companies will provide value for money from their innovation projects; how they will share the lessons learnt with other organisations; and how they will integrate those lessons into their day-to-day operations.

“These strategies will ensure that both the networks and the customers get the most out of those projects.”

Under the RIIO framework, energy networks are able to secure funding for innovation projects through the Network Innovation Allowance and the Network Innovation Competition. 

“Network companies are already using innovation projects to drive forward network performance, deliver better value for money and find new ways to harness the potential of energy technologies,” said Energy Networks Association chief executive David Smith.

“These strategies will ensure that both the networks and the customers get the most out of those projects.

“But that is only one side of the network innovation coin. The other side is about how we harness the potential of energy technologies to enable new markets and provide new opportunities for consumers to have greater control of their energy bills and reduce their costs.”

The gas and electricity networks will work together through the ENA to ensure the two strategies are aligned and able to bring about whole-system benefits. They will hold public consultations – including events in London, Glasgow and Telford – to enable technology developers, policy-makers, academics and other stakeholders to have the opportunity to help shape the strategies.

“Whether they are the end-user, a technology developer or a service provider, we want the widest possible range of stakeholders to have the opportunity to take part in this process,” said Smith.

The strategies will be submitted to Ofgem on 31 March 2018.

Last month the Energy Networks Association launched a consultation on the creation of markets to enable distributed energy resources to provide services to the power grid, and in July released a roadmap for the shift towards a distribution system operator model for local electricity networks.


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