The aims, objectives and background to the IET Power Network Joint Vision activity.
The IET formed an expert group in late 2012 of leading engineers from transmission and distribution network companies, consultants, and academia, with the regulator (Ofgem) and government (DECC) as interested observers.
The purpose of the group is to share practical experience on both the operation and the planning of today’s electricity system to help ensure our national electricity networks are ready to meet the significant challenges of low carbon generation technologies and new demands such as electric vehicle charging, and heat pumps in homes.
The objective of the PNJV expert group is to assist in building an integrated approach to the planning and operation of the future electricity network, ensuring not only technical performance but also opportunities for jobs and exports are identified at an early stage. The group seeks to identify the challenges, define the questions to be answered, clarify the parties accountable, and highlight areas of relevance to national policy-makers.
A news release about the creation of the PNJV Expert Group was issued in May 2013. (See "Independent expert group formed to ensure holistic thinking for Britain’s future electricity networks")
This work is being led by the IET’s Energy Sector in collaboration with the IET Energy Policy Panel and is being undertaken in close association with other industry groups including the Smart Grid Forum and the Electricity Network Strategy Group
The work of PNJV has focussed on engineering issues, while mindful of their wider business context. The changes ahead, which are prompted largely by the government’s decarbonisation targets, will not only bring new opportunities and societal benefits, but also challenges for the future of the GB power networks industry.
The expert group has established that a ‘whole system’ approach is required to address the significant increase anticipated in power system complexity – and this is in itself a challenge for an industry that has had a long period of relative stability and not required a ‘whole systems’ focus for many years.
This approach is not a proposal for a ‘GB Chief Engineer’, rather it is about achieving technical integration and interoperability in our multi-party market. This PNJV’s work is a starting point for building knowledge and confidence, ensuring that the significant engineering changes ahead for our national electricity system can be met without risk to supply security and resilience.
The IET believes it is vital to have a joined-up approach to the design of the future GB power infrastructure. It is in the interest of all stakeholders that future grid development is holistic and achieves secure and economic outcomes while responding to a number of entirely new and less predictable requirements.