Delivering the networks of the future
Network spoke to Steven Read, trainee programmes manager at UK Power Networks, about how apprenticeships will be crucial to developing the smart infrastructure of the future.
Electrifying the low carbon heat debate
The Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) begins 2020 with a new look and a new confidence that - with heat pumps emerging as a favoured option in the government's Future Homes consultation - the sector is about to come into its own.
Cybersecurity: defending the grid
The recent stand-off between the US and Iran raised fears that the UK's energy transmission and distribution sector could be targeted by state-sponsored hackers.
An honourable mention: James Yu interview
SP Energy Networks' Future Networks Manager, Professor James Yu, received an MBE in the New Year's Honours List. Here Network catches up with him to discuss challenges, past, present and future.
Cyber security: defending the grid
The recent stand-off between the US and Iran raised fears that the UK grid could be targeted by state-sponsored hackers. Network asked Professor Roger Kemp and Ahmed Kotb at the Institution of Engineering and Technology about the risks.
Low carbon heat must go electric in 2020, says GSHPA
The chairman of the Ground Source Heat Pump Association (GSHPA) has told Network that 2020 will be a key milestone on the road to net-zero, when it plans to "build a significant coalition for the decarbonisation of heat through electrification".
Squeezing efficiency from energy-from-waste
A high-efficiency waste gasification demonstrator project funded by the Energy Technologies Institute is producing electricity for the grid, but its sponsoring organisation was wound up at the end of December. Before closing day, ETI project manager Paul Winstanley told Elaine Knutt about what the ETI/Kew Technology Sustainable Energy Centre has achieved, and possible future milestones.
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.
“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.
“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?
“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.
“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.
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.
This section features regular interviews with small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to highlight the work they're doing with networks and the types of technologies that are driving innovation forward. This month, Dr Matthew Trewhella - managing director of Kensa Contracting - is the focus.
Accelerating the EV revolution
Matthew Boulton, chief commercial officer at Pivot Power, discusses how the company is working at a local level to speed up the decarbonisation of transport.
Turning ambition into action
The launch of SSEN Transmission's draft business plan includes an ambition to tackle climate change, connect more renewable energy and transport it across the country. Managing director Rob McDonald tells Network editor Alec Peachey how the company is going to achieve this.
Keeping power cuts to a minimum
As recent events in South America have proven, power cuts can cause widespread disruption, even if they only last a few hours. Network talked to operators in the UK to find out how they are building a more resilient grid and tackling the issue.
Andreas Lips, general manager, e-mobility, Shell - talks to Network editor Alec Peachey about how the energy and transport sectors are aligning to accommodate the millions of expected electric vehicles on UK roads.
Enabling the energy revolution
The shift to digital technology presents many challenges for the energy sector, but it could also create new opportunities with the emergence of micro-grids and private networks. Network spoke to Ibrahim Cobanoglu, digital lead for ABB Power Grids, to find out more.
The pace of change across the UK's gas, power and heat networks continues to advance. At the heart of this change lies collaboration and innovation. With this in mind editor Alec Peachey spoke to UK Power Networks head of innovation Ian Cameron about the work the network operator is doing.
Investing in the energy decarbonisation transformation benefits consumers
National Grid's head of regulatory finance, Darren Pettifer, says that Ofgem's plans to slash in half the returns that energy networks can earn could put at risk a once in a generation opportunity to transform the energy system, and prevent longer-term benefits to consumers.
Short interruptions matter
With regulatory and technological changes afoot, the issue of reliability is never far from the top of the agenda for many in the regulatory sector. While much has been said about the need to avoid long power outages, has the issue of smaller interruptions been ignored? Network spoke to S&C Electric Company's director of regulatory affairs, Christopher Watts and its EMEA sales director, Jonathan Hopkins about why short interruptions matter, what can be done to avoid them, and what other solutions will improve grid reliability for the network of tomorrow.
Decarbonisation driving change at ENW
Electricity North West is putting decarbonisation at the heart of its plans. Alec Peachey spoke to chief executive Peter Emery about a number of subjects including the company's drive to reduce carbon emissions, regulation, infrastructure - and how they're performing against the backdrop of a strategic review that could lead to a sale of the business.
Staying safe and smart
Siemens energy management division head of cyber security Volker Distelrath talks to Greg Pitcher about digital networks, data analytics and the importance of simulating cyber-attacks to stay safe.
From TV to EVs
Robert Llewellyn is a British actor, comedian and writer. He plays the mechanoid Kryten in the TV sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf and formerly presented the TV engineering gameshow Scrapheap Challenge. More recently he has become an advocate for electric vehicles and presents YouTube series Fully Charged. In an exclusive interview with Network editor Alec Peachey he talks about his passion for EVs, gives his views on the energy sector and provides an insight into his TV career.
The future of gas
Tony Nixon, head of gas transmission, regulation, National Grid talks to Network editor Alec Peachey about a range of subjects including decarbonisation, taking a whole system approach and the future role of gas.
Flying the line
Western Power Distribution (WPD) is the only network operator that has its own fleet of helicopters used to detect potential faults on the overhead electricity network. The unit is based at Bristol Airport and Network editor Alec Peachey was invited to take a look around.
Learning is key
David Smith, chief executive of the Energy Networks Association (ENA), talks to Network editor Alec Peachey about this year's Low Carbon Networks Innovation (LCNI) Conference and gives his views on the sector.
The launch last year of the Government-backed Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan was a milestone on the road to a smarter energy system in the UK. The plan outlined the way in which continued decarbonisation of the economy and greater adoption of renewable energy could be supported by energy storage and demand side response (DSR) services. Ben Hargreaves reports.
Supply chain evolution
The UK's energy sector faces significant challenges with the proliferation of new technology, shifting consumer expectations, sustainability targets and regulatory uncertainty. So how is the supply chain adapting to meet the changing needs of clients and the wider industry? Costain's Cameron Tonkin - sector director, power - speaks to Network.