Innovation

Editor's picks

A start-up incubator has been launched to harness the skills of furloughed workers in the energy sector for low-carbon projects. Spinning Reserve, which has been created by Rosa Stewart, the head of external affairs for SSE Energy – now part of Ovo Group, aims to tackle negative issues of unemployment and seize an opportunity to upskill fledgling net zero projects.
News
National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) has announced a new downward flexibility service to help it cope with unusually low electricity demand over the summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. The ESO said it expects to require up to 3GW of flexibility at a time and call on the service as often as one in every three days between May and August.
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Featured

The Covid-19 outbreak offers a unique opportunity for the sector to reappraise supply chain robustness, address the resilience of excessively leveraged balance sheets and prompt a discussion around the true value of essential workers, says Arenko’s James Mills
Opinion
Utility Week’s community of innovation and technology leaders were asked to summarise the key transformations utilities must achieve within the 2020s in order to sustain relevance and legitimacy in a changing world. Here’s what they said.
Analysis
5G is a hot topic in telecoms, but what can it do for utilities that existing technology cannot? And how can utilities exploit the opportunity that 5G brings? Alan Nunn of CGI explains.
Opinion

Latest in Innovation

The long-standing discipline of asset management is undergoing transformation in the utilities sector as the forces of decarbonisation and decentralisation make themselves felt, alongside rising regulatory expectations for service and operational efficiency. But do companies feel they have the asset information and understanding they need to underpin the shift? Utility Week explores the challenge in a new report.
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Will the introduction of market-wide half-hourly settlement unlock energy service innovation for the mass market? And are suppliers ready to support the nimble settlement processes it requires?
Analysis
Getting consumers to engage with net zero is going to require big changes to service strategies. But are utilities clear on what those changes should look like for a diverse spectrum of customers?
Analysis
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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Less than one per cent of megaprojects deliver the promised benefits on time and on budget. Download this report from Vision to learn why they go wrong, how you can fix them and why the fix works. The report also explores how these lessons can be applied to all capital projects of scale.
Downloads
A recent Utility Week Innovate webinar explored the experiences of two utilities trialling open banking to help address mounting challenges around affordability and debt. Here we explore key lessons and talking points.
Analysis
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.
News
The UK energy industry has been going through one of the most tumultuous periods since privatisation. Shocking energy price rises compounded by a not-fit-for-purpose price cap, has forced 12 retail suppliers out of business in 2021 impacting more than 2.2 million households. Even the regulator Ofgem has said its time for a review.
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Atkins has been appointed to work Ordnance Survey to build the National Underground Asset Register to map pipes and cables as a way to reduce utility strikes. The concept was developed as part of Northumbrian’s Innovation Festival and has been trialled in the northeast of England and London.
News
Anglian Water is ahead of industry peers in seeking to tackle the tricky area of capital carbon. Setting up robust carbon models and integrating these into asset intervention decision making as well as design processes has been key to progress as attendees at a recent UW Innovate webinar learned.
Analysis
A major new report on how utilities are fighting climate change.
Downloads
UK Power Networks has begun a new project to simulate the electricity network across London, the South and South East of England with the aid of machine learning. By modelling the power flows across hundreds of thousands of miles of network, the company said it will be able to operate its assets more efficiently and unlock almost 70MW of spare capacity that can be used to connect low-carbon technologies such as electric vehicle chargers and heat pumps.
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