Innovating to innovate

future of energy

It’s very apt that at the 2020 Energy Networks Innovation Conference (ENIC) we’ve had to innovate to innovate.

With the coronavirus tier system and restrictions still in place, the usual innovation conferences in large venues have not been possible this year.

However, the need to develop future innovative solutions for the energy sector does not go away because of coronavirus.

Indeed, the requirement for innovation has become ever more acute as the UK works toward its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a target which was given further impetus recently with the Prime Minister bringing forward a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel fuelled cars to 2030.

Cadent works collaboratively with other gas distribution networks on individual projects and we share learning from all our projects. Our innovations are geared toward helping the UK achieve its net zero targets, helping to keep people living in vulnerable circumstances safe, warm and independent in their home, transforming our customer operations and finding faster, better ways to upgrade our network. 

Working in partnership with the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), we bring forward new innovations and technologies from small to medium enterprises around the world that could potentially be applied to the gas distribution network.

At ENIC this year, rather than our innovation team manning stands or giving presentations in conference rooms, we had to share information via video links and took questions via live chats. We also participated in a range of live discussion panels.

The cutting edge, game changing schemes we talked about included: 

  • Our groundbreaking HyDeploy research work, which we hope will make hydrogen gas a major fuel source for UK homes, businesses and transport and substantially reduce carbon emissions
  • OptiNet, a network innovation project which explores the ways in which can use smarter control systems, gas compression technology and storage solutions to ensure we continue to best cater for customer demand during times of high and low gas use
  • Foam Bag Operation on Stubs (FBOS), a new means of installing gas pipes which enables gas mains replacement work to be done with much less disruption to the public

2020 has certainly thrown us all some curveballs which few could have foreseen, and it has shown that often you must develop innovative new ways of doing things very rapidly.

At Cadent, innovation is something we embrace and whatever the future may hold, we’re committed to finding the most up-to-date technology, tools and techniques to keep the gas flowing safely and reliably.

Ian Dennis
Director of Operational Performance

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Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.