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

United Utilities has seen one in two customers sign up to the open banking scheme it launched last year, its new chief executive has told Utility Week. She described how taking the initiative in-house had overcome underwhelming take-up initially.
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The Department for Transport has announced plans to hold a £200 million programme of competitions to demonstrate and compare zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and gather evidence on the future requirements for refuelling and recharging infrastructure. The three-year programme will allow manufacturers, energy providers and fleet and infrastructure operators to demonstrate their technologies on UK roads and will start later this year with initial competitions for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell HGVs.
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Ofgem has set out the new challenges for the second round of its Strategic Innovation Fund, which will begin accepting applications in September 2022. The second round will seek to address four innovation challenges and will be the first to be open to electricity distribution networks.
News
Welsh Water, Northumbrian, Severn Trent, Anglian and Southern are among the winners of innovation funding from Ofwat's Breakthrough Challenge, to develop and implement schemes that address common water sector challenges, including leakage and driving down harmful emissions from wastewater treatment.
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The merits of sharing data, for everything from net zero to delivering help to vulnerable customers, is clear to the utilities sector. However, there is still no clear pathway to embedding a culture of data sharing and differences of opinion remain on whether a centralised approach to setting standards for data exchange would accelerate or obfuscate this journey. Data and innovation leaders shared their thoughts with Utility Week.
Analysis
Western Power Distribution (WPD) has revealed it is undertaking a collaborative project with South West Water to explore how its pumping processes can be used to provide flexibility to the power grid.  The FLOWERS project will look at how energy efficiencies and flexibility options can provide mutual benefits to the networks and customers of both businesses.
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Northumbrian Water has reduced leakage by 25% in parts of Newcastle and Dagenham where it has been trialling the use of digital twins to manage demand. The prediction model used existing data from the company’s network together with pressure sensors to identify where leaks occur in two of the highest leakage areas in Northumbrian’s network.
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A new tool allowing companies to measure how much flexibility they have delivered to distribution network operators (DNOs) has been launched by the Energy Networks Association. The flexibility baseline verification tool was developed over two years through the Transition project led by Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Distribution, which said it will create a standard and consistent decision-making process across all DNOs.
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At Tusker, we’re a proud carbon neutral company who provide Salary Sacrifice Green Car Schemes for organisations to implement within their overall employee benefits package. We already work with a number of organisations within the utilities sector, including EDF, National Grid & EQUANS. Have you considered implementing a similar scheme?
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Yorkshire Water is beginning the UK's first pilot to use water supply pipes to carry fibre broadband cables to connect rural areas with superfast broadband. The Drinking Water Inspectorate approved the use of the technology after ensuring it would not impact the quality or safety for customers.
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