Local energy network innovation needed on journey to net zero emissions

Local energy network operators must play a significant role in balancing consumer demand for energy with available capacity if the UK is to achieve its net zero carbon emissions goal.

Symon Gray, Head of Networks at Energy Assets Networks, says that the move toward greater electrification and the decision to outlaw new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles by 2035, will require independent distribution network owners (IDNOs) to bring greater innovation to local network design and load management.

He said: “The government’s decision to phase out new fossil fuelled vehicles – including part electrified hybrids – earlier than anticipated means that we need to accelerate plans to create smart local networks capable of managing load more effectively than ever before.

“We need to be ready for the electric vehicle revolution through more innovative network design and load management while integrating renewables generation and battery storage into network design. In this way, we can be a key contributor to a lower carbon future.”

Energy Assets Networks (IDNO) and Energy Assets Pipelines (IGT), its gas transporter equivalent, have grown fast since being launched two years ago – capturing an impressive 5% market share of planned new residential development network adoptions in Britain.

“We have built our offer on being an agile partner for developers and contractors, taking a flexible approach both to asset values and asset type and investing in the people and skills that will ensure that schemes progress as quickly as possible,” said Symon.

“Our in-house technical expertise means we can also shape local network design to meet the resilience and capacity requirements that will be needed as we decarbonise our economy.”

Aside from electricity networks for residential developments, Energy Assets has an asset management partnership with Grain for 1GB fibre-to-the-home networks, and is now expanding into on-street and in-transit EV charging infrastructure, working as an asset adopter alongside world-leading technology providers.

“The challenges facing the UK on its journey to net zero carbon emissions are considerable, but they also open up significant opportunities for local network owners.”

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