Network resilience: Mitigating the threats of today and tomorrow
17 June 2022
As distribution network operators (DNOs) ready themselves for RIIO-ED2, a new report from Utility Week and Megger explores the role technology can play in ensuring safe, reliable and sustainable electricity supply and weathering a raft of ever-changing asset management challenges.
Since 2016, DNOs have spent in the region of £12 billion on resilience measures to protect network assets according to the Energy Networks Association (ENA) – which forecasts that said outlay will increase by around 20% in the next five years subject to Ofgem approval.
Featuring contribution from the National Infrastructure Commission, Western Power Distribution, UK Power Networks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, the ENA, and Megger, this report sets out how asset management challenges faced by today’s DNOs continue to evolve, and the role technology and innovation are already playing in ensuring reliability and resilience.
Challenges covered include:
- Climate change: According to Met Office data, only seven summers between 1961 and 2010 yielded temperatures of 34°C – whereas seven since 2010 have already done so. At the same time the UK is becoming wetter and subject to more storms and extreme weather events.
- Cyber security: The cyber threat facing networks has been brought into sharper focus by events such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the ENA pledging that DNOs will continue to enhance their defences in order to protect networks, secure data, and keep the public safe during RIIO-2.
- Behavioural changes: Shifts in societal behaviour driven by flexibility and low carbon technologies are said to be “up-ending” the profile of energy use and demanding dynamic approaches to resilience.
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