Network March 2020

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NETWORK / 5 / MARCH 2020 L E A D E R C O M M E N T Barnaby Dracup SYNERGY FOR THE FUTURE Synergy: 'the combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately'. This one word can then perhaps sum up the vital energy projects being developed and undertaken across the country at this very moment. These initiatives, involving a diverse mix of stakeholders from incumbent monopolies through to academia, tech startups and more are striving to build crucial physical and virtual models of our smart, low carbon energy systems of the future. Their ability to fail fast and make breakthroughs holds the UK's net zero ambition in the•balance. Prime examples of such exciting synergies of expertise and problem- solving talent are Keele University's SEND (Smart Energy Network Demonstrator) project and the Oxfordshire-based LEO Project, both featured in this issue. Keele is at the forefront of the drive towards developing new models for localised sustainable energy. It hosts the SEND project in partner- ship with global smart infrastructure provider, Siemens, providing a powerful proof of the value in uniting academia and business to accel- erate innovation as well as products, services and business models ˆ t for tomorrow's markets. Project LEO meanwhile, is being widely talked about as a gamechanger for the development of future ‰ exibility markets in the UK. The initiative, which is backed by £13.8 million from the govern- ment's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, boasts participation from a diverse selection of partners including SSEN, EDF, Oxfordshire City Council, ‰ exibility trading platform provider Piclo and V2G charging pioneer, Nuuve, to name a few. Projects like these provide crucial forums for practical and empirical knowledge acquisition which can be used to inform and build the networks of the future. As the complexity of the UK's econ- omy-wide decarbonisation ambition becomes more sharply deˆ ned, it is only through such synergies – and deploying their lessons at scale – that we will make progress with the multifaceted transforma- tion of interconnecting systems and interests that is needed in the years•ahead. YOUR NET W ORK Giving the people what they want! Let us know what projects, technologies and topics you want us to cover? Have your say! Express your opinions and respond to content by blogging or writing for the magazine. A social Network Follow us on Twitter: @Network_mag

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