Energy networks

Editor's picks

National Grid ESO has begun using an innovative inertia measurement tool on a commercial basis following the completion of a grid-scale ultracapacitor in Teesside that will be used to send pulses of power through the electricity system. Reactive Technologies, which developed the Grid Metrix service, compared the pulses to the underwater sound waves used in sonar.
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Western Power Distribution (WPD) has seen a surge in domestic flexibility in its latest tender, with more than half of the contracted capacity coming from households reducing or deferring consumption during periods of high demand on the network. The distribution network operator awarded contracts for almost 254MW of flexibility, bringing its total to date to 709MW across 62 locations.
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UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched an online open data portal to share detailed information about its networks across London, the South East and East of England. The distribution network operator said the portal brings together “thousands of datasets from a vast range of sources” that can be viewed in tables, charts and maps.
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Featured

Cost-benefit calculations have historically stymied thorough transformer testing practices for all but the most expensive high voltage units on the grid. But is the race for net zero changing the maths for low voltage assets?
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National Grid has successfully erected the world’s first T-pylon. It represents the first newly-designed electricity pylon to be introduced to Great Britain for nearly a century.
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Latest in Energy networks

The government has provisionally chosen the first net-zero industrial clusters to receive funding for the construction of carbon capture and storage infrastructure. In a statement to parliament, energy and climate change minister Greg Hands revealed that the East Coast and HyNet North West clusters have been selected as the two “track 1” clusters it is aiming to get up and running by the mid-2020s.
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The Heat and Buildings Strategy has finally emerged, alongside a slew of other green policies. In this free-to-download report for the heat market, Utility Week examines the key pledges and timescales enshrined in this much-anticipated blueprint.
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Utility Week rounds up responses to this week's slew of green policy announcements, including contributions from EDF, SSE, Western Power Distribution and the Climate Change Committee, among others. While there is praise for the ambition shown, concern is expressed about the lack of concrete timescales and the tendency to “re-announce the same promises”.
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Three possible pathways towards the decarbonisation of the economy have been set out in the Net Zero Strategy. The strategy noted that the three scenarios – high electrification, high resource and high innovation – are only intended to be illustrative, representing a range of practical ways in which net zero could be delivered rather than the mostly likely or preferred solutions.
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John Murray, head of EVs at Delta-EE, discuses the importance of getting the right mix of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and highlights some of the approaches taken in other European countries.
Opinion
Balancing the supply and demand of energy is a crucial but highly complex part of the jigsaw puzzle that moving to net zero represents. To be affordable, decarbonisation will require energy to be used and stored in new ways, and consumers to be engaged. Can the sector deliver? In this extract from a major new report from Utility Week and Capgemini, Denise Chevin discusses.
Analysis
The government has confirmed that households will be offered £5,000 grants to install low carbon-heating through a new £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme in its much-anticipated Heat & Buildings Strategy. The strategy also commits to a new target that by 2035 no new gas boilers will be installed for home heating.
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After countless false dawns, it seems that the Heat & Buildings Strategy is finally set to see the light of day. But, industry experts tell Utility Week that government’s indecision has now led it to publish this crucial document at a very difficult time. David Blackman explores the likely key points and the level of detail expected.
Analysis
SSE has teamed up with Dutch smart charging firm Jedlix to provide balancing services from electric vehicles (EVs) using its platform. The partners said they are aiming to create the UK’s largest virtual power plant to sell flexibility services in the Balancing Mechanism and to distribution network operators.  
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As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Northern Gas Networks’ chief executive Mark Horsley. He discusses why the energy transition doesn’t need to be scary, the need for utilities to support councils and why there is no more time to waste on accelerating green infrastructure projects.
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