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Energy Transitions Research at the University of Cambridge

SMART ENERGY: Transatlantic Summit on the future of Smart Energy Networks

Delegates from the US and the UK came together this week at the Maxwell Centre in Cambridge to debate the future of the UK and US energy systems. The two-day ‘smart grid’ summit was organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Energy@Cambridge and Cambridge Cleantech. The summit brought together industry, government and academia with representatives from major UK and U.S players including Ofgem, Siemens, General Electric, Centrica, Edison Electric Institute, UK Power Networks and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As an island nation moving rapidly towards a mixture of nuclear and renewable energy generation, the UK is facing these challenges several years ahead of the United States. This creates an opportunity to develop solutions and share expertise across the Atlantic. The summit was a chance for UK and US stakeholders to:

  • Share best practice
  • Define new commercial opportunities
  • Collaborate on future transatlantic energy projects

Martin Garratt, CEO of Cambridge Cleantech commented “we were delighted to partner with the University of Cambridge and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to welcome senior energy industry experts from across the USA to Cambridge. The renewable energy revolution in the UK means that we are ahead of the game in seeking ways to generate energy locally and to feed this into the national grid. The expertise garnered in this sector could be a big future earner for UK PLC”.



Background and Further Information

With the rise of distributed sources of power and ever-increasing levels of demand, energy networks in the US and the UK need to innovate to keep up with the pace of change. Smart grids, which use digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in usage, will be a key part of this energy revolution. Governments, regulators, utility companies and network operators are all under pressure to work out how smarter, more interconnected systems will operate, what infrastructure is required, and the relationship between consumers and suppliers in a flexible energy marketplace.