Ray Arrell reflects on our stakeholder engagement work with ENA, the network companies and the wider sector, to summarise some of the key themes and priority areas for network innovation.
Regen has been working with Energy Networks Association (ENA) and the electricity and gas network companies to refresh and update the strategies that guide network innovation.
Over the past four months Regen has been leading a process of engagement to inform the development of these revised strategies with ENA and the networks. Through an online survey, a series of interactive webinars and two stakeholder workshops in Glasgow and London we have sought views on:
- The underlying principles that should apply to all network innovation activity
- A set of shared key themes for network innovation that apply to both electricity and gas
- The near term priority areas under each of these themes that network innovation projects should look to tackle
A summary of the themes and the priority areas that were shortlisted by stakeholders is shown in the table below:
We are now working with ENA and the network companies to digest the results of this engagement process and drafting the revised electricity and gas strategy documents over the coming weeks, due to be published at the end of March.
If you are keen to get involved in network innovation, there are a number of ways to engage with ENA and the networks.
1) Visit the Smarter Networks Portal – www.smarternetworks.org
A database of c.1400 previous network innovation projects, including access to project registration, progress reports and closedown documents.
2) Submit your ideas through the Network Innovation Collaboration Portal – http://www.nicollaborationportal.org/
A place to pitch your innovation project ideas to the networks and see/receive notifications about invitations from network companies looking for ideas.
3) Attend annual network innovation events
ENA and the network company innovation managers regularly speak at industry events. ENA also provide updates to their work on network innovation at Utility Week Live (19-20 May), as well as hosting the annual Low Carbon Networks & Innovation Conference (3-4 November), Electricity Innovation Forums (21 February) and other targeted events.
We will keep you informed about the development and publication of these revised network innovation strategies.
Author: Ray Arrell, Senior Project Manager