Utility Week

UTILITY Week 28th October 2016

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

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Page 14 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 28TH OCTOBER - 3RD NOVEMBER 2016 | 15 Operations & Assets formance management (APM) and the ways in which conventional thinking about asset management will change with decentralisa- tion of generation. Big providers of APM systems, like ABB and Schneider Electric - the latter was lead sponsor for LCNI this year - were keen to talk about the returns on investment their technologies have already brought to early adopters around the globe and to frame the opportunities which APM presents to outper- form in the relatively new regulatory envi- ronment for energy networks in the UK. The kind of data stored in APM systems is already commonly used by networks for investment planning, but suppliers say the real opportunity is in shiing mainte- nance strategies from outdated time-based approaches to intelligent condition-based strategies. This is not a new concept: the idea of using asset data to curtail unnecessary trips to remote assets and spot developing prob- lems in assets that are not due for check-ups any time soon has been around for at least a decade. Networks, however, have been slower to realise the benefits than other sec- tors – such as generation. The assertiveness with which suppliers argued the case for change and investment in regulated networks at this year's LCNI reflects another key development in the industry - that empowerment of third party innovators. The scope for giving third parties great access to innovation funds and increasing their influence over projects has been under discussion for some time and Nolan hinted that news on this will come with the initial findings of Ofgem's innovation review, which is dues to be published this month, This devolution of power and the shi away from a traditional command and con- trol hierarchy in the networks industry is apparent in the rise of service offerings too. Smart power solutions company Kel- vatek, for instance, is one of a range of traditionally physical product oriented com- panies that are racing to provide system intelligence – possibly even management – as a service. Kelvatek was keen to promote its "Sapi- ent" offering at LCNI, a real-time monitor- ing and analytics service which it already provides to a number of DNOs to help speed up the process of fault location and diagnosis. LCNI remains an important weather vane for innovation in the UK's energy networks. As the innovation environment evolves how- ever, its format and scope will undoubtedly need to expand. " " "In order to facilitate a cost-ef- fective and secure transition to a lower carbon energy system, a para- digm shift is required in system opera- tion, and design and management. A shift from passive, historical redundan- cy based concepts to fully intelligence- based, smart digital systems. The complexity of system operation would increase by one or two orders of mag- nitude and require investment in smart solutions to actually make it work." GORAN STRBAC, PROFESSOR OF ENERGY SYSTEMS, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON "We are quite a long way away from what 'good' [net- work planning] might look like. There is a lot of work on the transmission distribution interface, but we are quite a long way from having what looks like an enduring model of how you work out where the investments should be on the network, or if it should be a traditional solution or a smart solution." DAVID CAPPER, HEAD OF ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS, BEIS "As the energy system transforms, the role that innovation can play has become a key question for policymakers and regulators. New technologies are accelerat- ing structural changes in the market and have created new business models and products." DERMOT NOLAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, OFGEM "Network innovation projects are vital to overcoming the fundamental challenges our energy system faces, from connecting and balancing renewables to decarbonising heat and transport and improving energy efficiency." DAVID SMITH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ENA

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