Network JulyAugust 2016

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E D I T O R ' S N O T E By the time this magazine reaches you, we will know the outputs of the long-awaited Future Power System Architecture (FPSA) project led by the IET and the Energy Systems Catapult. Some sceptics in the energy industry are dubious about the real impact this report will have on operations or the adoption of new technologies. But its advocates and contributors are both expe- rienced engineers and enthusiasts for change. They are unlikely to be satis‚ ed if the report begins to gather dust in Decc, and indeed the very limitations of the report – the fact that it was barred from addressing institutional or policy considerations and constrained to technical considerations only – may help it to endure as a neutral guide to power system transformation in this time of political upheaval. There is an urgent need for the changes the FPSA team sets out to be considered seriously by all power system stakeholders, and to be acted on where possible. At the Energy System Catapult launch event in May, Dr Simon Harrison, the FPSA project's chair, made it very clear that delay- ing decisions to extend or transform grid functions – the report has 35 suggestion of instances where this is needed – is not a least regrets course of action. "What's happening to the system now is constraining what we might do with it and arguably lead- ing to suboptimal solutions," he said. In order to stop locking in the unintended consequences of inac- tion for tomorrow it is important that networks and regulators are open minded and proactive in engaging with challenges to the established architecture of the power system – even more so in a post EU-referendum world where we are no longer guaran- teed the insights and exchange of lessons from European trans- mission and distribution operators about the ways in which they are responding to new sources of demand and constraint. • At time of writing, with the FPSA report still to launch, it was the gas networks rather than power that stole the headlines in June and early July. Multiple reports and comments from bod- ies including Imperial College London, National Grid, IGEM and KPMG all coalesced to form a clear message – decar- bonisation in the UK will not progress economically or at pace without transformation of existing gas infrastructure. In this issue we explore some of the ways this is being approached – page 16. C OMING SO ON ∙ Smart metering and networks • System architecture • Network innovation and third parties • Tomorrow's sources of black start 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 / JULY/AUGUST 2016 Jane Gray

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