The utilities team at Impact were out in force, when we exhibited at last month’s Low Carbon Network Innovation conference (LCNI). We got to network with many experts from across the energy sector, there to showcase the latest electricity and gas network innovation projects and technology underpinning the sector’s transition to a low carbon future.
Inspiring innovation projects
As ever, the 2018 programme included an array of inspirational presentations from DNOs and GDNs supported by technical experts and specialists. From how ENA members are preparing their networks for the mass roll-out of low emissions vehicles, to decarbonisation of the network including energy alternatives such as hydrogen and biomethane, and planning for the smart grid of the future.
Day 2 gave us insight into how to leverage the benefits of new technologies, improving environmental performance, the challenges and achievements in meeting peak seasonal demand for heating, to improving customer experience whilst lowering cost and how to minimise disruption and impact on local communities.
There were a number of twists to this year’s event, specifically a new and engaging Dragon’s Den-style session, with expert innovators and disrupters pitching their ideas to a panel of gas and electricity network representatives. The stakes were high as the winner Scene Connect was rewarded with a seed fund of £10,000 to develop a full proposal for their Cloud ZuoS Platform for a Network Innovation Allowance project.
Delegates were treated to the opportunity to test drive a selection of electric vehicles, provided by Drive Electric, and get to experience the technology themselves.
A key role to play in the transition to a smart future
The 2018 meeting closed with delegates feeling informed and energised about the positive steps being made by the sector. At a time when the nation’s eyes are very firmly focused on reducing carbon emissions, as well as demanding higher levels of service, accountability and reliability, its events like the LCNI conference that remain pivotal in the transition to the smart grid of the future.
A new era and a new focus
The news on everyone’s lips was the announcement that 2019 LCNI’s focus will turn solely to the DNOs and electricity suppliers when it moves to Glasgow in October. The gas supply networks will be sharing their new work at the Gas Innovation Showcase, as part of Utility Week Live in Birmingham next May.
It is to be assumed the change will enable operators and suppliers the opportunity to showcase an increased number of projects and provide even greater detail, in turn enabling a deeper understanding and sharing of crucial developmental learnings and achievements. Telford has been a wonderful host but it is exciting to know LCNI is moving to Glasgow and we look forward to the new meeting format when we attend next year.