Innovation: The Low-Carbon Future
To help tackle climate change, the UK has set ambitious plans to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Meeting these targets will require altering the way electricity is generated and used. The electricity network will be key to facilitating a move towards low carbon electricity by enabling a range of technologies a number of which SP Energy Networks is involved with.
Innovation in Electricity Network Development
Electricity transmission and distribution networks are a critical part of our energy infrastructure and we recognise that the electricity networks are important facilitators of the low carbon future. This is an exciting time as we work to ensure that our network is transformed to continue to provide a dependable supply, value for money and integration of future increased levels of low carbon generation and new low carbon uses of electricity.
Scotland is rich in natural resources such as wind whereas most demand for electricity is in the south of England so to increase the transfer capacity between Scotland and England the high voltage transmission grid network will require significant upgrades and new circuits. One project that will assist with the transfer of electricity from north to south is a planned high capacity High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea cable Link between Hunterston and Deeside.
Smarter local distribution networks will also be needed to provide low cost, secure, low carbon electricity. Our local distribution networks are mainly built for passive one-way power flow from the transmission grid to customers’ premises so changes are needed to accommodate future requirements. New information and control systems will monitor and co-ordinate all the electricity flowing in and out of the transmission grid and integrate local and renewable generation, including, domest combined heat and power (CHP), solar and wind.
Our Regulator, Ofgem, has set-up two mechanisms to assist the funding of appropriate innovative distribution network projects and trials. These are the Innovation Funding Initiative (IFI) and the Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF). We are currently undertaking a broad range of innovative projects to facilitate a low carbon future. These projects usually involve close collaboration with external specialists and cover investigation and adoption of advanced technology, new ways of operating, trials on the network and network charging and commercial initiatives. We are always keen to consider suitable new proposals for projects which would be eligible under the IFI and LCNF criteria. If you have any suggestions, please contact us here.
We are also closely involved with a number of other initiatives looking at integrating low carbon technology such as Sustainable Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games.
To find out more about some of our projects please follow the links below: