What can we learn from August 9th?
The summer of 2019 saw the disconnection of more than a million electricity customers in Britain's largest single electricity system disturbance in over ten years. Here, UKERC co-director, Professor Keith Bell, summarises the findings of the government and regulator investigations into the incident and unpacks potential lessons for the electricity sector and its readiness for further decarbonisation without compromising security of supply.
A new way to model Value of Lost Load
Tracey Kennelly of distribution network operator (DNO) Electricity North West, and Anuj Nayyar of energy specialist Frazer-Nash Consultancy, on their project to accurately assess the "value of lost load", and how all DNOs could benefit from the new modelling tool that will follow.
Debating the steep path to net-zero 2050
Meeting the challenge of 2050 is already top of the sector's agenda, and is likely to be in clear focus for the new government too. In February, at the Future Networks and Future of Heat conferences, the sector will have the chance to debate its response and the path ahead.
People & Skills
Wellbeing at work is built on a foundation of data
Data gathering is key to many aspects of networks' operations, but not always the first priority when it comes to constructing a staff wellbeing and mental health policy. Dame Carol Black tells Network why she'd like data, and the insights it offers, to sit at the heart of wellbeing initiatives.
Pumping up affordable low carbon power
Graham Wright, chairman of the Heat Pump Association, on the important role heat pumps could play in the low carbon heat mix, and the need to increase the rate of installations to meet net-zero.
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
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.
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.
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.
Challenging the networks
As part of the RIIO2 price controls set out by Ofgem, network operators are required to set up independently chaired customer engagement groups (CEGs). As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Network caught up with the chairs of four of these groups to find out more about their role and how they challenge the networks.
With post-Brexit energy trading arrangements still unresolved and Europe's connectivity lagging expectations, Fieldfisher energy experts David Haverbeke, Lis Blunsdon and Yohanna Weber, discuss why more attention needs to be focused on critical power infrastructure.
Solving the EV charging jigsaw
As DNOs present Ofgem with their electric vehicle (EV) readiness documents, illustrating how the transport revolution can be effectively managed, Patrick Erwin, policy and markets director at Northern Powergrid, outlines key policies that would ensure a fair, and properly managed transition.
Unlocking asset infrastructure
The UK's energy networks are under mounting pressure to accommodate new and increasing demands. From regulatory restrictions and the uptake of distributed generation to the increase in electric vehicles and renewable energy solutions, the challenges for existing asset infrastructure are varied and complex. Nadine Buddoo reports.
Networks must consider needs of vulnerable customers, analysis shows
Analysis carried out on behalf of the Energy Networks Association (ENA) shows that network operators must ensure that vulnerable customers are not left behind as the UK works towards net zero.
The increasing threat of cyber-attacks
There is no doubt that cyber-attacks on energy companies and infrastructure have increased in scope and severity over the past decade. Ben Hargreaves provides an overview of this important subject area and looks at what can be done to keep energy networks secure.
Technology & Operations
Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) whole energy system analysis
Video covering ETI's work on whole energy system analysis.
Dealing with data
Network Magazine and Cyient recently hosted a roundtable discussion where the subject of proactive data management being the key to the future energy system was discussed. Tom Grimwood reports.
Getting regulation right
The Energy Systems Catapult was created to help remove the obstacles preventing innovators from bringing new products, services and business models to market. The body - in conjunction with Network - held an industry briefing at its office in Birmingham to examine some of these hurdles, how they can be dismantled and the potential opportunities on offer.
Home is where the heat is
Network Magazine, in association with Utility Week and the Energy Systems Catapult recently hosted a roundtable event where the subject of new business models for the decarbonisation of heat was discussed. Alice Cooke reports.
Adapting to the new reality
This summer's decision by Ofgem and the government to block DNOs from owning and operating storage was seen by some as a blow. Network looks at how they are finding ways to adapt and use existing assets to identify future business opportunities.
Providing energy solutions
Will the decarbonisation of heat and the use of low-carbon gases change the face of gas networks and infrastructure? Network explores the issues.
Worries over gas smart meter roll-out
Concerns are raised about the safety and efficacy of the roll-out for gas smart meters.
The future of our power system architecture
The latest findings from the government-sponsored Future Power System Architecture programme are out. Tom Grimwood takes a look at them.
Five ways LiDAR technology is mapping the future
LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology has hit the headlines recently, but for Distribution Network Operators, the technology is fast becoming business as usual.
District heat: follow the leading light?
District heating has made inroads in Copenhagen that developers in the UK could only dream of, but could and should the UK follow in Denmark's footsteps?
Is critical infrastructure destined for the cloud?
Cloud computing is revolutionising data management for utilities, but does the future of operations also lie in the cloud?
Policy & Regulation
A mountain to climb
Now the DCC network has gone live, attention has turned to dealing with smart meter installation challenges. What can be learnt from the rollout so far?
Behaviour change: Q & A with Paul Bircham
Ahead of Network's Future Networks conference ENW's Paul Bircham predicts there will be enough network capacity to handle the rise of the electric vehicle.
Given the green light: gas
Both of the network innovation competition submissions for gas made the cut in the latest round of innovation funding. Network runs through the projects and Ofgem's pointers for next year.
National Grid – The electricity sector’s ringmaster
National Grid is set to legally separate its system operator function from the rest of its business following proposals from Ofgem. Nigel Hawkins considers the significance of the decision.