Utility Week

UTILITY Week 17th July 2015

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 17TH - 23RD JULY 2015 | 21 Operations & Assets Five key points to take away 1. Innovation. The gas networks have all outperformed their RIIO price control allowance, which has financially benefited consumers. 2. Collaboration. Networks must share knowledge from innovation projects to avoid duplication, which costs consumers. 3. Technology. Technology is advancing at a rate of knots and networks must take into account when carrying out projects that it will continue to change. 4. Policy. Policy decisions and regulation must not be a barrier to innovation and customer service. 5. Improvement. Gas networks have performed well in GD1, and RIIO as a whole has a good reputation, but there's still room for improvement in GD2. panies where things aren't going well and have targeted discus- sions with them. We are already in the third year of RIIO-GD1, and already RIIO-GD2 is in the sightline. Good experience of RIIO- GD1 will give us better information, and our ambition is to have a light-touch regulation looking forward." Robert Cairns, business change specialist, National Grid Gas Distribution "Ofgem has allocated spend to us to inno- vate and it's very important that we don't all pick up one project in one area and start innovating in that area. That is going to be a waste of the consumers' money. So they [GDNs] must all share their learning." Michael Atkinson, head of generation connections, Northern Ireland Electricity "There are some rela- tive comparisons on the table between [Great Britain] and [Northern Ireland]. Whereas in GB populations tend to be centred within ham- lets, which is probably more efficient from an electricity supply point of view, in Northern Ireland, it's very dis- persed. We also have a higher proportion of overhead system." James Bangay, managing director, Fugro Roames "One of the emerging infrastructure layers is knowledge infrastruc- ture. So the electricity network and the relia- bility of that has led to central compute loca- tions where we can trust that computing is going to be running perpetually, connected to communications infrastructure that feeds us information on our smart phones. This knowledge infra- structure is starting to become available to us to actually consume." Ben Willis, corporate development and strategy manager, RWE Npower "Politics has basically distorted delivery of the most economic form of generation. It's all very well to have 2020 targets and assume that 11-13GW of onshore wind is what we need. No, that's not what we need, what we need is 20 per cent of electric- ity from renewable sources, and the more onshore wind you have, the cheaper that is for the consumer." Brought to you in association with

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