‘Smart grid’ project looks to future

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THE UK’s largest ‘smart grid’ project has completed the first stage of its research into electricity consumption after establishing a series of trials with 12,000 customers in Yorkshire and the North East.

Led by Northern Powergrid, the electricity distribution network operator for the North East and Yorkshire, the £54m project is testing a number of solutions to ensure Britain’s electricity networks are fit for the future and ready for mass uptake of low-carbon technologies, such as solar PV, heat pumps and electric vehicles.

Government targets to cut carbon emissions by 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 will help the UK reduce its carbon footprint and establish a low carbon economy, but achieving these targets will largely depend on low carbon technologies being adopted on a nationwide scale.

As many of these are electricity-dependent, the additional demand created will mean that electricity networks across the UK need to become ‘smarter’ to accommodate Britain’s changing energy requirements, said Northern Powergrid.