Low carbon network innovation conference

Mike Buckle

We exhibited at the Low Carbon Network Innovation conference (LCNI) again this year. LCNI brings together distribution network operators, National Grid and energy industry suppliers to network and present the innovative ways they are responding to current challenges in the energy industry.

As the industry reduces its reliance on carbon-based energy sources – which are concentrated, predictable and controllable – in favour of more distributed and variable green alternatives, the challenge is to maintain electricity and gas supplies and respond to increasing demand.

Multi-science disciplines, including metallurgy, chemistry, physics and engineering, are being used to sculpt solutions to these problems. Meanwhile, software plays a major role.

A presentation from the UK Power Networks (UKPN) project, KASM, discussed how, in the East Kent region, where transmission infrastructure is constrained, existing infrastructure can be worked harder to increase capacity across the network.

To do this requires complex solar and wind forecasting and an accurate understanding of projected demand using historical data. In the event of equipment failure, the effects of re-routing supply need to be understood to ensure reliability and safety.

To achieve its goals, the project is developing accurate forecasting and demand modelling tools and contingency planning software, and enabling greater data interchange between UKPN and National Grid.

LCNI is a fascinating space and one we always enjoy attending.