Press release

New technologies must be integrated into smart grids now

19 September 2012

The challenges of integrating renewable power generation and new power demands such as electric vehicles mean that electricity distribution companies must rapidly embrace new technology and ways of operating, an expert will say today.  

John Scott, who has 40 years’ experience in electricity distribution, transmission and regulation will warn that time is running out for decisions which would enable network companies to grasp “once in a generation” opportunities to future proof the electricity network by taking a 'systems view', looking at the electricity network holistically rather than piece-meal.

Director of Chiltern Power and a Trustee of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Mr Scott will make the keynote address at today’s Smart Grid 2012 conference.

He will identify the barriers that prevent new technologies becoming established as 'new business as usual'. John will point out that new technologies will result in missed business opportunities and added costs if they are treated as incremental additions, rather than new developments to be integrated with a company's engineering and commercial processes.

John said: “Recent reports from the Smart Grid Forum underpin this challenge and provide first evidence of when the 'tipping points' for each new technology will arise - the integrating frameworks needed for a holistic systems approach are long lead time items and if the tipping points are missed, the cost penalties start to become locked in. Companies are then in the no exit street.”

DECC will be talking at the conference about its new programme of innovation support for energy storage technology. Delegates will be updated on the forthcoming storage funding scheme which should be of interest to a wide range of storage technology developers and users.

The IET Smart Grid conference, taking place in central London, will share the latest Government and Ofgem influences on smart grid innovation as well as collaborative work emerging from the Smart Grid Forum. Speakers will demonstrate how quickly innovation is changing the smart grid landscape, through technological and economic drivers.

Media enquires to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912
Email: rbeahan@theiet.org

Notes to editors: