What role do the networks have in the energy transition and decarbonisation?
“All of the gas and electricity networks are driving towards net zero and it’s pretty much front and centre of everything they do. When we’re talking about investment, innovation or strategies – it’s with an eye on net zero.”
As newer technologies focus on renewable electricity, such as electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps, he explained what the networks are doing to adapt: “Fundamentally, the networks have not been historically designed for these devices.
“There is a number of things that we do as networks to ensure that homes and streets are net zero ready – and some of those solutions are traditional solutions; putting a bigger cable in your street for example.
“However, some of them are facilitating new markets for you to optimise your energy use. Where we’ve got a capacity problem, we go to the market and say can someone in this area help us out and provide us with capacity and if you can provide us that capacity and it’s lower cost than the network solution, we’ll pay you to provide that.”
He spoke of how new greener technologies provide the option for consumers to make some more money from the energy they don’t use.
For households that have flexibility “you can provide that additional capacity to the network by either injecting into the network or just reducing your use – and if you can do that at the right time when we need it, not only will you lower your bills, you’ll earn a new revenue stream cos we’ll pay you to do it.”
We spoke with Mr Brazier in this latest podcast not only on what networks are doing to adapt and the role they play but also his experiences at COP26 and thoughts on what the future holds.