Network June 2016

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E D I T O R ' S N O T E This issue of Network has found itself stormed by content on the development of the UK heat market. A segment of the energy system that has been le in the shadows and very much to its own devices – for better or worse – in recent years, heat now ranks with energy storage and power system • exibility as a top topic for industry debate. It's high time. As a major end-use of energy, the decarbonisation of heat is essential if the UK is to meet its carbon reduction tar- gets. But more than that, if cost-e€ ective solutions can be scaled up, low carbon heat could bring signi‚ cant socioeconomic bene‚ ts. The 's' on the end of solutions is important. The challenge of decarbonising heat, in a timely and cost-e€ ective way, cannot be met with a single answer but will instead be a balancing act which is sensitive to property type, consumer desires, techno- logical innovation and a range of other factors. This represents a particularly complex challenge for those seek- ing to form a supporting policy framework for our low carbon heat transition. It also means that the number of options in front of property owners and heat network developers as they make heat choices in the future will be large. They will need access to clear information about which solutions o€ er them the best return on investment and what "good" looks like in terms of system operation. Without this crucial information, the right technology choice might still fail to deliver the right results, as we show on page 28. Boosting decision-making capability in the heat industry would be greatly aided by a more collaborative culture of data sharing, but to date this has been far from the case. Fear of breaching data protection rules or exposing companies (o en small ones) to cyberattack has been a blocker. Promoting better understand- ing of the way in which anonymised open data could support innovation and market growth could help – and not just in the heat sector, but across the wider energy network landscape as the push towards • exible, multi-vector systems goes on. Jane Gray C OMING SO ON ∙ The value of power system fl exibility • An interview with Alan Whitehead • Visiting Enel • Real time gas networks • EVs as energy storage YOUR NET W ORK Give 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 Email the editor: NETWORK / 5 / JUNE 2016 the push towards • exible, multi-vector systems goes on.

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