It goes without saying that energy networks are a vital part of the energy system. Whilst most of the focus of debate today is centred on generation options, it is critical that over the next decade the country makes decisions on the three areas of which existing networks to enhance or adapt, which new networks to create and examines robustly how new and existing networks can be integrated to optimise their performance and operation for the benefi t of the whole energy system.
Decision makers will need to consider factors such as changes in how energy can and will be generated and consumed, the ability of different networks to meet needs both individually and in unison, the design of transition pathways for generation, demand and the networks that would eventually link them together with identifying the network lifecycle and investment opportunities.
Against this backdrop, making robust choices is important as networks can take years or even decades to build and once they are built, they cannot be easily moved or changed. This is why we believe systems thinking is critical and has to happen across the many vectors up and down the energy supply chain.