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The subject of discussion was networks. Use of the distribution networks is rising with increases in renewables and the growth of energy storage. Plans to incentivise demand-side response (through EVs feeding back to the networks and consumers arbitraging usage) will lead to even greater usage of the networks. With that in mind, there are plans for DNOs to become DSOs, something with significant consequences for all network companies and for the role of National Grid. These changes give rise to a number of questions: How is this change of role to be financed? What will the different networks actually do in the future? Should network costs be regulated in a different way? Are the planned changes sufficient to cope with ever-increasing – and increasingly intermittent – usage? Will the costs be too high?

The sponsors of the dinner were UK Power Networks and Western Power Distribution

• John Feddersen, CEO Aurora Energy Research and chair of discussion
• Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Minister of Energy Honorary VP EUF
• Mark Bygraves, CEO Elexon
• Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan Honorary VP EUF
• James Heappey MP Advisory Board Member EUF
• Marc Borrett, CEO Reactive Technologies
• Albert Owen MP, Energy Select Committee
• Edward Libbey, Deputy-Chairman EUF
• Volker Beckers, NED Elexon, Director Danske Commodities
• Sally Barrett-Williams, Chairman and Advisory Board Member EUF
• Mike Wilks, VP Utilities – Head of UK Energy Networks CapGemini
• Peter Emery, CEO Electricity North West
• Maxine Frerk, Director of Grid Edge Policy
• Neil Sampson, Treasurer EUF
• Jens Price Wolf, Commercial Director Drax Power
• Joe Mcdonald, Head Business Development Limejump
• Devrim Celal, CEO Upside Energy
• Steve Blackwell, Joint Treasurer EUF
• David Smith, CEO Energy Networks Association
• Alison Sleightholm, Regulatory and Government Affairs WPD
• Clive Linsdell, CEO Brookfield Utilities
• Ian Smyth, Director UK Power Networks Services
• Laurence Carpaninini, Director Smarter Energy IBM
• Chris Murray
• James Mulroney, Smarter Grid Solutions
• Rich Hampshire, VP Digital Utilities, CGI
• Marc Bartlett, Associate Director Energy Navigant
• Chris White, Director, Government Affairs URENCO