Utility Week

Utility Week 9th May 2014

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/308088

Contents of this Issue


Page 20 of 31

UtILIty WEEK | 9th - 15th May 2014 | 21 Operations & Assets England and Wales, including bio- mass, solar and hydro technology. The National Trust wants to generate half its energy from renew- able sources by 2020 and halve fossil fuel use in the same period. This will enable it to reduce its energy costs by £4 million a year. If you have an asset or project you would like to see featured in this slot, email: paul.newton@fav-house.com or call 01342 332085 Pipe up Ian Thomas I f utilities are serious about fostering innovation, they must define their technology needs to give develop- ers a clear roadmap to take them from idea to mass adoption. At energy and environment merchant bank Turquoise International, we believe utilities need to recognise that innovation exists in an ecosystem where they are at the top of the chain and technology compa- nies are at the bottom. A significant minority of investors won't fund water technology compa- nies whose business models depend on selling to utilities because they are concerned about long adoption times, lack of clarity about adoption processes and a lack of definition regarding the technical and com- mercial parameters of the product. According to the report HTechO Tapping the Potential: A Fresh Vision for UK Water Technology from the UK Water Research and Innovation Part- nership, the UK's share of the global water technology market could be worth £8.8bn by 2030, compared with £1.5bn today. It says the UK can boost its share to 10 per cent by 2030 if it takes urgent action, including focusing more on commercial oppor- tunities and customer needs. R&D investment by the utilities is falling, but there is a pressing need for innovation to address challenges in the sector. Areas such as wastewater reuse, urban water management and flood security are ripe for new thinking. Water firms can do more to define their future require- ments and set a framework for innovation. A convincing business plan is essential to attract investors. This means having the vision to map a product's journey from start to finish, involving developing concepts that can be acquired by the tier one and two suppliers, before being supplied to the utilities in a commercial, de-risked form. The utilities have a key role to play. By setting out their needs, together with where innovation can add most value, they can specify the end game and product development and its backers will fall into line. There is a clear need to invest in water infrastructure, with climate change, population growth and industrial demands all expected to change how we manage water. Securing investment in innovation and new technologies can ensure that every pound spent achieves optimum results and will help to position UK water technology firms, and the industry as a whole, as pioneers with considerable global potential. Ian Thomas, managing director, Turquoise International "Water firms can do more to define their future requirements and set a framework for innovation" "There is a pressing need for innovation to address challenges in the sector"

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - Utility Week 9th May 2014