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Up to £70m investment is up for grabs for Britain’s leading energy innovators, as Energy Networks Association launches the Call for Ideas for the Network Innovation Competition.


Focusing on Britain’s local electricity networks, this year’s competition is designed to support a range of large-scale innovation projects in communities across the country. 


Overseen by Ofgem, network companies and their partners will compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new energy technologies that will help run energy network infrastructure in a smarter, cleaner and more flexible way.


The Call is being run by Energy Networks Association which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses. Successful applicants will work with the electricity network companies themselves to compete for up to £70 million available for projects.


Successful projects from 2019 included:


DC Share project being run by Western Power Distribution which is looking at finding a new way of delivering rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs; and Resilience as a service (RAAS) being run by SSEN which aims to deliver a project supporting low-carbon solutions for maintaining network resilience.


Proposals will need to fit with the priority areas, set out in the

Electricity Network Innovation Strategy. 


This year’s focus is on enabling an accelerated pathway to net zero emissions along with developing new ways of addressing customer vulnerability.


Innovation in the energy system has never been more important as we look to meet our net zero  emissions targets while delivering value for the public. Research from the National Infrastructure Commission has identified up to £8bn of savings a year that can be made from energy networks investing in innovative smart power technologies.


David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses said:


“We need to be relentless in our focus on innovation. The progress network operators have made to date has helped to significantly cut carbon emissions in the most efficient way possible way for the public.


“This is an exciting chance for innovators to deliver projects that will make a real difference to the way networks operate in communities up and down the country. We want to hear from the widest range of energy innovators as possible to help deliver the smarter, cleaner and more flexible energy system the public need.”


The call for ideas opens on 17 September and closes on 30 October at 5pm. Full details of the Call can be found on Energy Networks Association’s Network Innovation Collaboration Portal.


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Achieving net zero targets is one of the biggest challenges facing the energy and utilities industry, but by innovating together we can drive change and deliver a decarbonised future. Our industry partners are always looking for innovative new solutions to the challenges they face, including net zero, which is why we provide a platform where innovators like you can respond to the latest innovation opportunities and challenges, and submit your innovative ideas. Our expert team have an extensive knowledge base, allowing us to consistently help our partners to address challenges, and to support our innovation community. This enables innovators and industry to come together and build a strong innovation culture and streamline innovation processes.