Friday 27 March 2020

UK Power Networks: ‘Uncertainty is the new normal in the energy sector’

UK Power Networks: ‘Uncertainty is the new normal in the energy sector’

Uncertainty is the new normal in the energy sector.

That's the suggestion from Suleman Alli, Director of Strategy and Customer Service at UK Power Networks, who spoke to future Net Zero Founder Sumit Bose about the potential impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on the UK's energy infrastructure and the role of technology in driving the country's progress towards net zero by 2050.

He said: "We could never have envisaged the scale of decarbonisation that has occured in the power sector, look at the amount of distributed generation, renewable distributed generation, thats connected on the distribution networks - it's incredible.

"That's enabled us to exceed our carbon reduction targets in the current regulatory period, we reduced our carbon by over 22% [over the] period to date, halfway through, and our target in our plan was 15%, so we're already overachieving and that's as a result of seismic shifts in power generation."

He said the organisation's current key priorities are 'to keep the lights on', provide essential services and keep employees and customers safe, noting that with more people working from home, powercuts will have an even more acute impact so it is important for UK Power Networks to work "doubly hard".

Mr Alli told future Net Zero that once the UK returns to normality, network companies will have two key roles to play in driving down emissions - the first relates to decarbonising their own operations with new technologies and new techniques to decarbonising vehicles, generators and getting rid of other pollutants such as SF6 gases, while the second involves facilitiating wider decarbonisation across the ecomomy.

He added UK Power Networks is working with the Carbon Trust to come up with a pathway to 2050, broken up into five-year carbon plans, in order to bring the 60,000 tonnes of emissions generated annually by the organisation down to zero.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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