Ofgem’s awards of £62m to four low carbon projects have been welcomed by the Energy Networks Association.
The ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for electricity and gas in the UK and Ireland. Its chief executive David Smith said: “The funding of research and development projects for the networks is to be welcomed. The fund is an important contribution to the ongoing work of research and development into our energy future.”
Mr Smith said that all the bids put forward “are of vital importance and ENA continues to support a process where as many projects as possible are funded”.
He said this would increase learning opportunities and boost skills “within ENA member companies and maintain the momentum that has been generated through the bid process, particularly partnerships with local organisations”.
Mr Smith also said Europe offered further investment potential. “With the recent announcement of an infrastructure blueprint for the EU including work towards smart grids and investment in a North Sea grid for electricity, there are welcome opportunities for network operators to seek EU funding for research and development projects to make this a reality.”
He added: “Clearly there is an enabling role for the regulators in terms of smart grid development. Ofgem has been quicker off the mark than most and the low carbon fund is an innovative approach. However, the EU must also play its part and identify central funds to support the work of the regulators and industry.”