Powersystems making mental health Priority No1 in Electrical Engineering

Powersystems making mental health Priority No1 in Electrical Engineering

Powersystems has become a Mates in Mind supporter.

Mates in Mind is a registered UK charity raising awareness, addressing the stigma of poor mental health and promoting positive mental wellbeing across workplaces. They help to make sense of available options and support companies to address mental health within their workplace.

Mates in Mind is a programme delivered to the UK construction industry with the support of the Health in Construction Leadership Group. It has created a flexible and joined-up approach to break the silence and stigma surrounding mental health in society, in general and construction in particular.

The programme is being run in partnership with a number of industry representatives and mental health charities such as The British Safety Council and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

Mates in Mind promotes a culture of positive well-being and provides firms with a tiered training framework to build understanding, knowledge and confidence in tackling mental health throughout businesses.

According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures, in the UK alone, there were workers suffering from work related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2019/20, which resulted in around 38.8 million working days lost.

For the construction industry in particular, the negative impact of the global pandemic has added to an already pervasive mental health challenge within the sector. As reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the suicide rate among construction workers is already three times the national average for men, equating to more than two construction workers taking their own life every day.

Further industry data reports that:

  • 55% of construction workers have experienced mental health issues
  • 42% of construction workers are living with mental health issues at their current workplace
  • Construction deaths from suicide are also believed to be potentially 10x higher than that of fatal accidents at work.

This integral programme will ensure a consistent industry-wide approach to tackling the stigma around mental health within our industry.

Be a mate. Be the change.

Visit the Mates in Mind website for more information.


Sir David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate at UN climate change summit

Sir David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate at UN climate change summit

  • Broadcaster and natural historian to work with the UK as host of COP26 to inspire action in the run up to the summit
  • Sir David will address world leaders and the public ahead of and at Glasgow in November
  • This appointment marks the pivotal moment of 6 months to go to COP26.

Sir David Attenborough becomes COP26 People’s Advocate for the UK’s Presidency of the UN climate change summit in Glasgow this November.

With six months to go before the UK brings world leaders together for key climate talks, the renowned natural historian and broadcaster will put forward the compelling case to global leaders, key decision makers and the public for why climate action matters, to evidence the progress underway, and to highlight the actions decision makers will need to take ahead of and at COP26.

He will address world leaders at major international events over the next six months, including the G7 Summit in Cornwall in June, to firmly put climate and the protection of nature at the top of their agenda, and he has also been invited to address world leaders and the public at the Glasgow Summit – the most important climate meeting since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Sir David Attenborough has already inspired millions of people in the UK and around the world with his passion and knowledge to act on climate change and protect the planet for future generations. There is no better person to build momentum for further change as we approach the COP26 climate summit in November. I am hugely grateful to Sir David for agreeing to be our People’s Advocate.

On being appointed COP26 People’s Advocate, Sir David Attenborough said:

I am greatly honoured to be given the role of People’s Advocate. There could not be a more important moment that we should have international agreement. The epidemic has shown us how crucial it is to find agreement among nations if we are to solve such worldwide problems. But the problems that await us within the next 5 – 10 years are even greater. It is crucial that these meetings in Glasgow, COP26, have success, and that at last the nations will come together to solve the crippling problems that the world now faces.

Sir David has previously stressed the importance of COP26. Addressing the UN Security Council in February, on the invitation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he described COP26 as possibly “our last opportunity to make the necessary step-change” towards protecting the planet.

COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:

Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity and the stakes could not be higher for our planet. The next decade will be make, or break, for cutting global emissions sufficiently to avoid the worst effects of climate change. That is why I am delighted to be working with Sir David, a hero for our country and our planet, to inspire action ahead of COP26.

The appointment comes as Alok Sharma is urging governments, international organisations, businesses, and civil society to accelerate bold pledges ahead of the summit, to put the world on a path to net zero emissions by mid-century.

Notes to editors:

  1. This year, the UK will host the UN climate change conference COP26, in Glasgow with our partners, Italy. This will provide an opportunity for the world to come together and commit to urgent action.
  2. As hosts of COP26, the UK is leading by example during this unprecedented time. Guided by science, we are investing in a green recovery which creates sustainable jobs and addresses the urgent and linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity loss.
  3. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire action ahead of COP26.
National Grid launches a low-energy light bulb to glow green when electricity at home is cleanest

National Grid launches a low-energy light bulb to glow green when electricity at home is cleanest

  • New research from National Grid reveals 38 per cent of UK adults feel hopeless about climate change and worry about the future of the planet. This is fuelled by an ‘energy awareness gap’ with 42 per cent of Brits mistakenly believing that Britain only gets up to 10 per cent of its electricity supplied by zero and low carbon energy sources. (Actual = 55%)
  • Carbon jargon is making it more difficult for Brits to engage on the issue with many having never heard of terms like carbon neutral (42%) or net zero (61%). Only 10 per cent of UK adults have heard of COP26 – the UN climate conference to be hosted in the UK this November.
  • Half (51%) of Brits said they would feel more hopeful if they understood the steps Britain is taking towards reaching net zero whilst two in five (41%) would feel more positive if they knew the cleanest time of day to use electricity.
  • To help, National Grid is launching the Green Light Signal – a new low-energy smart bulb that shows people the cleanest times to use electricity.

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time. Yet one in ten UK adults (10%) believe we will never solve it according to a new study by National Grid*, and more than a third (37%) believe we have reached a tipping point and have passed the point of no return.

Why are people feeling hopeless about climate change?  

An ‘energy awareness gap’ in people’s knowledge about the positive steps Britain has undertaken to be less reliant on fossil fuels seems to be the main cause of hopelessness. 42 per cent of Brits incorrectly believe that Britain only gets up to 10 per cent of its electricity from zero and low carbon energy sources. In fact, clean energy like wind, solar and nuclear account for an average of 55 per cent of Britain’s electricity mix. Outdated views on our reliance on fossil fuel also aren’t helping. One in ten (11%) think Britain gets 71 – 90 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels, whilst nearly a quarter (23%) mistakenly believe that Britain generates 51 – 70 per cent of its electricity from fossil fuels. The actual average figure is 36 per cent.

Carbon jargon is another factor preventing people from engaging on the issue of climate change. Brits haven’t heard of terms like decarbonisation (77%), carbon capture (74%), net zero (61%), green tariffs (49%) and carbon neutral (42%). And just 10 per cent have heard of COP26 – the UN climate conference to be hosted in the UK this November.

However, over half (51%) of Brits said they would feel more hopeful if they knew the steps Britain is taking towards using more zero carbon energy. 41 per cent said they would feel better if they knew the best time of day to use energy whilst 47 per cent said they would feel more positive if they knew how much of their energy came from renewables.

The Green Light Signal  

In a bid to help Britain understand where it gets electricity from, National Grid has launched the Green Light Signal – a low-energy light bulb designed to glow green when the electricity supply at home is cleanest so people can make smarter energy choices. The clever gadget is powered by National Grid’s carbon intensity API (carbonintensity.org.uk), a carbon intensity forecasting tool with a regional breakdown, built by National Grid ESO, WWF and The University of Oxford and The European Defence Fund.

John Pettigrew, Chief Executive of National Grid, said: “Climate change is the biggest crisis humanity faces. As a Principal Partner of COP26, we want to give people hope by making them aware of the transformational changes taking place in the energy sector as we move towards a clean energy future. Great Britain’s energy system hit a new green record earlier this month with almost 80% of electricity coming from zero carbon sources, and in the last seven years we have cut carbon emissions from the electricity system by 66 per cent.

We know there is still lots to do, but by showing people the progress that’s been made and bringing them together to better understand energy consumption with tools like the Green Light Signal, collectively we can make a real and significant impact in the fight against climate change.”

The Power of All 

70 per cent of Brits believe that individual efforts to save electricity and use greener energy sources can make a difference in the fight against climate change. And increased news coverage on the topic has led a whopping 89 per cent to be more mindful about the way they use electricity at home.

Top ways Brits are trying to make greener energy decisions at home include filling the kettle with only the amount of water they need when boiling (52%), wearing more layers to negate the need to heat the home (44%), having short showers over baths (43%), reducing the amount of laundry washed (31%), and leaving the oven door open to heat up the home after use (28%). However, 15 per cent of Brits do not believe that individual efforts to save electricity will help fight climate change.

There are also things we will not contemplate giving up in the fight against climate change – using computers less (50%), eating less meat (45%), eating less fish (43%), and drinking less coffee (42%) top the list. For millennials, streaming services like Netflix (42%) just could not be sacrificed whilst giving up eating avocados to help fight the climate crisis proved a bridge too far for a further quarter (25%) of Gen-Z and Millennials.

National Grid in the UK: 

  • We own and operate the electricity transmission network in England and Wales, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. We also operate, but do not own, the Scottish networks. Our networks comprise approximately 7,200 kilometres (4,474 miles) of overhead line, 1,500 kilometres (932 miles) of underground cable and 342 substations.
  • We own and operate the gas National Transmission System in Great Britain, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. Our network comprises approximately 7,660 kilometres (4,760 miles) of high-pressure pipe and 618 above-ground installations.
  • As Great Britain’s System Operator (SO) we make sure gas and electricity is transported safely and efficiently from where it is produced to where it is consumed.  From April 2019, Electricity System Operator (ESO) is a new standalone business within National Grid, legally separate from all other parts of the National Grid Group. This will provide the right environment to deliver a balanced and impartial ESO that can realise real benefits for consumers as we transition to a more decentralised, decarbonised electricity system.
  • Other UK activities mainly relate to businesses operating in competitive markets outside of our core regulated businesses; including interconnectors, gas metering activities and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) importation terminal – all of which are now part of National Grid Ventures. National Grid Property is responsible for the management, clean-up and disposal of surplus sites in the UK. Most of these are former gas works.

Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face at https://www.nationalgrid.com/group/news

National Grid undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this release, which speaks only as at the date of this release, unless required by law or regulation.

About the Bulb:

The Green Light Signal uses the LIFX Mini Colour bulb. They are 20 per cent more efficient than the closest competitor. You can purchase your own LIFX bulb and connect it to the National Grid ESO Carbon Intensity Forecast following the simple instructions at www.nationalgrid.com/greenlightsignal

Powersystems Hydrogen NewsWatch Update May 2021

Powersystems Hydrogen NewsWatch Update May 2021

The Powersystems Renewables NewsWatch provides a roundup of the latest headlines relating to Hydrogen

Powersystems recently reviewed Green Hydrogen as a renewable energy technology and some of the challenges the sector faces and that pressure has been building to make more of this gas and to use it to move energy in a form that can burn in power plants and steel mills, energize fuel-cell vehicles and generators, and combine with captured carbon dioxide to make liquid fuels or solid plastics.

Hydrogen the magical gas that Jules Verne predicted in 1874 would one day be used as fuel is now beginning to get the long struggled attention it deserves, it is lighter than air, more common than carbon, and burns with a bang into a puff of pure water vapor. Some see it as an essential element in decarbonizing electricity, transportation, and even big industry.  However, A net-zero world ‘would require 306 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2050 derived from renewable energy each year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Net Zero by 2050 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.

Now in 2021, the world may be starting to get ready for hydrogen

This gas is capturing the attention of governments and private sector players, fueled by new tech, global green energy legislation, post-pandemic “green recovery” schemes and the growing consensus that action must be taken to combat climate change.

The UK government’s “Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution” was published in November 2020 stating the intention of publishing a hydrogen strategy in 2021. This also set a target of 40 GW of offshore wind generation capacity and 5 GW of low carbon hydrogen production by 2030, appearing to indicate an intention to play a leading role in European hydrogen development.

The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance forecasts public and private sectors will invest €430 billion in hydrogen in the continent by 2030 in a massive push to meet emissions targets. Globally, the hydrogen generation industry is expected to grow to $201 billion by 2025 from $130 billion in 2020

Announced April, 8 Independent asset manager FiveT Capital Holding have launched a private infrastructure fund, FiveT Hydrogen Fund, dedicated to delivering clean hydrogen infrastructure projects at scale. The Euro-denominated Fund intends to raise a total of $1,189 billion (€1 billion) from a combination of financial and industrial investors. It will make largely minority co-investments into greenfield projects with key industrial players.

Hydrogen around the world

An eye-opening story in the Wall Street Journal described Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion plan to build a car-free megacity, complete with a $5 billion green-hydrogen plant, in a currently uninhabitable swath of its northwestern desert. The story also reports that Australia is considering an equally bold, $36 billion-project to construct 26 gigawatts of wind and solar generation in its arid western state to power production of green hydrogen for export as well as domestic use.

Japan and other nations are touting hydrogen production as a near-term priority and a major element in their long-term plans to decarbonize their economies. In a recent seven-part series on “The race to scale-up green hydrogen,” the Financial Times examined some of the 228 large hydrogen projects—involving $300 billion in capital investment—that have been announced.

A Hydrogen Strategy Steering Committee has been launched in Canada to establish priorities, guide actions, share knowledge and track results to deliver on recommendations outlined in the country’s Hydrogen Strategy.

Uzbekistan has approved a presidential decree to establishing a strategy to boost development of renewable and hydrogen energy.  The decree outlines measures to support the introduction of innovative technologies to develop hydrogen and renewable energy sources, build hydrogen infrastructure to promote energy efficiency and security, and enable Uzbekistan’s transition to a green economy.

In Scandinavia, as part of Everfuel’s green hydrogen fuelling strategy, plans have been unveiled for 15 new hydrogen stations to be developed across Sweden by the end of 2023. Such network will comprise of sites developed by Everfuel, as well as stations in the partly EU funded Nordic Hydrogen Corridor initiative, developed in collaboration with the project partners Statkraft, Toyota, Hyundai and Hydrogen Sweden. Under its Scandinavian green hydrogen fuelling strategy, Everfuel hopes to connect the main traffic corridors in Sweden, Norway and Denmark with hydrogen stations.

In Spain, bp, Iberdrola and Enagás plan to develop the largest green hydrogen project in the region of Valencia. The project would be located in the bp refinery in Castellón, where a 20-megawatt (MW) electrolyser will be built, powered by renewable energy produced, among other sources, by a 40 MW photovoltaic plant. In later stages, the electrolysis capacity could be ramped up to 115 MW, becoming the largest green hydrogen project in the refining sector in Spain

A new 1.5 MWth pilot plant is being built at Cranfield University to test an innovative hydrogen production technology that substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions.  The HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming) is an international collaboration led by Cranfield University with £7.4 million funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) £505m Energy Innovation Programme.

Hydrogen for travelling

By 2035, there are no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars, and by 2040, the global electricity sector has already reached net-zero emissions.

Currently for road transport, the two most promising alternatives to petrol and diesel are electricity and hydrogen. While battery-electric vehicles dominate media attention, companies such as BMW is to pilot a small series of BMW i Hydrogen NEXT fuel cell vehicles in 2022, based on the German manufacturer’s current BMW X5. Drawing on experience from BMW’s fifth generation of e-drives, the vehicle will be equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell e-drive system.

Van Hool, Hyundai, Siemens and Toyota are working on the production of hydrogen-powered buses, lorries, trains and cars. The the European Commission, governments and cities have long believed that hydrogen is essential to achieving zero emissions in public transport and reducing air pollution.

For example, Paris, Mexico City and Amsterdam plan to replace their current buses and lorries with hydrogen or battery-powered models as early as 2025. Similarly, DHL, Budweiser and the French postal system (La Poste) are adopting hydrogen-powered road transport solutions. However, current hydrogen production is almost entirely powered by fossil fuels, with only 4% of energy coming from renewable sources. Decarbonization of the global transport sector requires a substantial increase in hydrogen production. One of the advantages hydrogen has over battery-powered cars is the speed of refuelling, which is the same as for petrol-powered vehicles, as is the range.

Due to its volume, currently hydrogen fuel is not well-suited to short-distance passenger vehicles but the renewable energy source is ideal for vehicles above 3.5 tons, such as lorries, buses and coaches, and vehicles requiring high availability such as gritters and emergency vehicles.

In the near term, with a major push to accelerate innovation a hydrogen hyper car is being developed in the UK.  Coming in 2023 A hydrogen-powered hypercar, according to British start-up Viritech will be launched called the Apricale. Due to go into limited production in two years’ time, its job is to kickstart the nascent company’s journey to becoming “the world’s leading developer of hydrogen powertrain solutions for the automotive, aerospace, marine and distributed power industries”.

Apriciale comes from the Latin word ‘apricus’, which means to be ‘touched by the sun’. Viritech says it’ll be “half the weight of its battery competitors” thanks mainly to a clever new kind of hydrogen storage tank made from graphene composite and integrated into the hypercar’s structure. Just 25 examples will be built beginning in 2023, with between eight and 12 cars finished per year.

Flying with hydrogen

The use of hydrogen in transport is constantly evolving in all mobility sectors. In the air travel sector, for example, at the end of September, European engineering giant Airbus announced plans to make aviation travel emissions-free by 2020 with ZEROe. As reported by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, “Passenger air travel is producing the highest and fastest growth of individual emissions despite a significant improvement in efficiency of aircraft and flight operations over the last 60 years”. According to AirBus, the ZEROe concept can pave the way for greener air travel, reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint by upwards of 50%.

Hydrogen on the Tracks

The rail transport sector is also heading for a major breakthrough in decarbonization.  Countries seeking ways to transport people while reducing the emissions of climate-changing gasses are looking at trains powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

One of the first trains of this kind is Alstom’s Coradia iLint, now being tested in many countries. The trains are equipped with fuel cells to convert hydrogen and oxygen from air into electricity and have a range of approximately 1,000 km, according to the company.

The very first orders for dual powered hydrogen-electric trains in France have been placed this week, in what represents a significant advancement in the technology which could revolutionise sustainable transport.  Acting on behalf of the regions of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Grand Est and Occitanie, SNCF Voyageurs has placed an order with manufacturer Alstom for the first 12 dual mode hydrogen-electric trains (plus two optional trainsets) in a contract worth a total of almost €190 million.

“France has everything it needs to become a hydrogen champion: the French government is fully committed to turning this ambition into reality. We will be covering 47 million euros of development costs for France’s first regional hydrogen-powered train. I am delighted that this support has enabled the four partner regions to confirm their order for the first 14 trains,” said Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, Minister Delegate for Transport, French Ministry of the Ecological Transition.

Read more about building the clean electrification at the heart of the global decarbonisation strategy, the UKs first Hydrogen town and New Hydrogen Collaborations and Pathways in last months Hydrogen review.
















Powersystems awarded the electrical works for Hendy Wind Farm

Powersystems awarded the electrical works for Hendy Wind Farm

Powersystems are delighted to have been awarded the electrical works contract for the 16.1 MW Hendy Onshore Wind Farm. The wind farm will be located on a site of 150 hectares near the village of Penybont, situated south west of Llandegley, Llandrindod Wells, Wales.

The 66 kV project works at Hendy Wind Farm will see the high voltage electrical engineers Powersystems; design, supply, install, commission and set to work all the electrical works between the point of connection to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) network. The Point of Common Connection (POCC) for Hendy Wind  Farm 66/33kV substation will be situated within the WPD 66kV substation.

Powersystems will design, procure and install the 66kV and 33kV equipment for the electrical works project, this is expected to be a 40-week construction programme from start to finish.

The wind farm will comprise of 6no. Enercon E82 wind turbines plus 1no. Vestas V80 wind turbine; these with a Total Installed Capacity (TIC) of 16.1 MW. One turbine (the Vestas V80) is already installed and this will be connected into the overall wind farm system.

Powys Council granted planning consent for the Hendy Wind Farm for the turbines at 2.5 MW with a maximum hub height of 69m and maximum tip height of 110m, associated works, infrastructure, compound and buildings.

Hendy Wind Farm could generate enough energy to meet the demands for around 9,800* homes every year.

It is expected that Hendy Wind Farm will bring economic benefits to the area using materials sourced materials locally and using local companies during construction. Between £4.5m and £6.75m could be spent with local businesses during the construction period.

Wind energy isn’t just good for the environment, the construction of Hendy Wind Farm will deliver meaningful benefits for the local economy and community. A community fund will be set up based on £5,000 per MW per annum, which will deliver over £2m of investment in the local area throughout the lifetime of the wind farm.

As part of building the UK carbon free future, Powersystems proudly support the design, installation, and commissioning of climate restoration technologies with connectivity in all renewable sectors.
Powersystems are powering the UK to a green recovery, with 5 GW of installed green energy as they play their part helping to decarbonise the National Grid.

Working with partners, delivering sustainable power solutions, proudly the Powersystems high voltage specialist team have connected 27% of all U.K. onshore wind farms.

* This is based on Renewable UK and the following calculation Operational MW x 8760 (number of hours in a year) x 0.2782 (the capacity factor for both on & offshore wind) / 4192 (UK average domestic household consumption in kWh) and it should be noted that this is an estimate and not based on site specific data.

Ofgem delivers £300 million down payment to rewire Britain

Ofgem delivers £300 million down payment to rewire Britain

Ofgem delivers £300 million down payment to rewire Britain

Policy areas

  • £300 million investment for over 200 low carbon projects to get Britain ready for more electric transport and heat.
  • New infrastructure to support 1,800 new ultra-rapid charging points at motorway service areas.
  • Part of a broader investment programme for safe, secure and clean energy, with £40 billion confirmed already and more to follow in 2022.

Ofgem is today powering the electric vehicle revolution, with motorway service areas and key trunk road locations across the country set to get the cabling they need to install 1,800 new ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the current network.

A further 1,750 charge points will be supported in towns and cities. As drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel to electric, Britain’s cables, substations and other infrastructure need a massive upgrade to support this new demand for electricity.

The investment will be delivered in the next two years and is part of a much bigger plan to ensure Britain has the energy infrastructure it needs to support the move to low carbon transport and heating while maintaining secure supplies. The magnitude of this investment is expected to be in the order of over £40 billion through Ofgem’s regulation of energy networks.

Every region in Britain will benefit from today’s announcement, with 204 net zero projects worth £300.5 million across England, Scotland and Wales. These shovel-ready, low carbon projects start this year, supporting clean transport and heat, and opening up local electricity grids to take on more low carbon generation.

While electric car ownership is on the rise, Ofgem research has found that 36% of households that do not intend to get an electric vehicle are put off making the switch over a lack of charging points near their home. An extensive motorway charging network and more charging points in cities and train stations will help address this ‘range anxiety’, so Ofgem is accelerating investment to boost charge point installation.

Cities like Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro will benefit from increased network capacity to support more ultra-rapid charge points, increased renewable electricity generation and the move to more electric heating for homes and businesses. Investment also covers more rural areas with charging points for commuters at train stations in North and Mid Wales and the electrification of the Windermere ferry.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem said:

“This £300 million down payment is just the start of building back a greener energy network which will see well over £40 billion of investment in Britain’s energy networks in the next seven years.

“The payment will support the rapid take up of electric vehicles which will be vital if Britain is to hit its climate change targets. Drivers need to be confident that they can charge their car quickly when they need to. We’re paving the way for the installation of 1,800 ultra-rapid charge points, tripling the number of these public charge points. Drivers will have more charging options for longer journeys.

“In the year that Glasgow hosts the COP26 climate summit, the energy networks are rising to the challenge and working with us and partners to accelerate projects that can start now, benefiting consumers, boosting the economy and creating jobs.”

Rachel Maclean, Transport Minister said: 

“I warmly welcome today’s news from Ofgem, which will greatly improve the resilience of our charging network as we build back greener.

“With more than 500,000 electric cars now on UK roads, this will help to increase this number even further as drivers continue to make the switch to cleaner, greener vehicles.”

David Smith, chief executive at ENA which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses said:

“With just a few months left until COP26 we are delighted to have been able to bring forward such a crucial enabler of the Prime Minister’s green recovery ambitions. Delivering a green recovery for seas, skies and streets, over £300m of electricity distribution network investment will enable wide-ranging projects which help tackle some of our biggest Net Zero challenges, like electric vehicle range anxiety and the decarbonisation of heavier transport.

“This new funding shows the social, economic and environmental benefits that can be brought forward by industry working closely with a flexible regulator.”

Keith Bell, Member of the Climate Change Committee, said:

“This joint initiative by Ofgem and the electricity distribution network companies is a welcome development, showing flexibility in the regulatory arrangements in the long-term interests of energy users. On the journey to Net Zero, we need to make it as easy as possible for people to manage without their combustion engine cars. Electric vehicles are looking more and more attractive, but we need to make sure they can be charged easily, and that means having the right infrastructure – charge points and network capacity – in the right place at the right time.

“As well as enabling charging of electric vehicles and the electrification of heat, network investment will provide support for supply chains and, where projects require expansion of the workforce, the creation of new jobs. It will be an essential complement to a smarter power system where innovative information technology and attractive energy tariffs for consumers will ensure we make best use of our electricity system infrastructure.”

Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association and each of the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) launched a call for evidence in February for energy networks to come forward with projects that could help Britain reach net zero emissions faster and support the economy as the country comes out of the pandemic.

Last year, Ofgem announced its greenest ever price control with billions invested into network companies and the system operator from April this year. The regulator has also indicated that it will allow billions more investment and better use of flexible technologies and innovations for the local electricity networks from 2023.

Notes for editors

1. This phase of Ofgem’s Green Recovery programme is focussed on the local electricity grids within the current price control. Ofgem is working with the transmission and gas distribution companies to develop further opportunities within their recently confirmed funding settlements.

2. More information about the projects being announced today can be found in our decision document. RIIO-ED1 Green Recovery Scheme

3. Today’s announcement is the outcome of February’s call for evidence from Ofgem, the Energy Networks Association and each of the Distribution Network Operators. Energy networks set to power up the Green Recovery – Energy Networks Association (ENA)

4. Ofgem announced a £40 billion investment programme in December. Ofgem gives go-ahead to a £40 billion+ investment programme for a stronger, greener and fairer GB energy system | Ofgem

5. There will be further investment from 2023 in Ofgem’s Electricity Distribution price control. Ofgem boosts investment for Britain’s electricity networks | Ofgem

6. Local electricity grids are run by Distribution Network Operators. DNOs across Britain are responsible for carrying electricity from the high voltage transmission grid to industrial, commercial, and domestic users. The 14 DNOs in Britain are each responsible for a regional distribution services area, and are owned by six different groups. These groups include:

  • Electricity North West Limited (ENWL);
  • Northern Powergrid (NPg);
  • Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSEN);
  • SP Energy Networks (SPEN);
  • UK Power Networks (UKPN); and
  • Western Power Distribution (WPD).

7. There are currently 918 ultra-rapid charge points in the UK. How many charge points are there in the UK 2021 (zap-map.com)

8. 39 motorway service areas will benefit from today’s announcement

9. On Friday Ofgem published research that include barriers to consumers buying electric vehicles One in four consumers plan to buy an electric car in next five years according to Ofgem research | Ofgem

10. The UK Government’s target is to have at least 6 high powered, open access charge points at motorway service areas in England, with more for larger sites Government vision for the rapid chargepoint network in England – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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