Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Developing smart electricity networks in the UK - innovation, policy and regulation, and decarbonising the grid


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider the next steps for developing smart electricity networks in the UK, and priorities for delivering grid flexibility, decarbonisation, and new consumer services.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • steps for developing smart retail energy markets,
  • utilisation of smart tariffs and behind-the-meter technology, and
  • reforming the regulatory system to deliver whole-system change.

The agenda:

  • Priorities for developing smart electricity networks - digitisation, infrastructure modernisation, and reducing barriers to entry;
  • Next steps for smart electricity markets - delivering smart tariffs, consumer benefits, and supporting competition;
  • Innovation in grid operations and utilising digital technology - research, AI, and designing smart energy platforms;
  • Establishing a System Operator model fit for achieving net-zero emissions - flexibility, smart technology, and keeping costs low for consumers;
  • Delivering whole-system change, and making the energy system smarter and more efficient;
  • Integrating distributed assets and opportunities for decarbonising energy supply and the grid;
  • Driving the energy system transition using agile regulatory governance;
  • Code reform, balancing networks, and supporting smart services; and
  • Policy priorities for developing smart electricity networks in the UK - measures achieved so far and steps for addressing remaining objectives.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • The government and industry response to the ongoing Coronavirus emergency - including partnerships to maintain essential services and the operation of critical electricity infrastructure;
  • Government policy prioritising the development of clean energy, modernised infrastructure, and technological innovation for building a smart energy system;
  • The Spring Budget and commitments to double the size of the £500m Energy Innovation Programme, and increase public R&D investment to £22bn per year by 2024-2025;
  • The ongoing Future Energy Retail Market Review and consultation, focusing on retail market adaptability to disruptive technology, smart energy services, competition and consumer benefits;
  • The energy networks codes review and the industry codes consultation, aiming to simplify industry codes, reduce grid access barriers, and expand new technologies market participation; and
  • The final decision of the Targeted Charging Review and recent Electricity Network Access and Forward-Looking Charging Review, and reform to how consumers and network operators are charged for using and delivering power.

The discussion in detail:

Delivering whole-system change to the energy system - addressing the challenges, including:

  • integration of smart, clean, and distributed energy into the network,
  • enhancing grid flexibility for national and local networks,
  • removing barriers to entry for new technology,
  • investment needs and delivering new physical infrastructure, and
  • working with industry to support smart innovation and ensure that technologies are ready for grid integration.

Design of smart electricity markets - addressing the challenges, in the context of the development of the Energy White Paper and the Future Energy Retail Market Review, looking at:

  • development of smart energy tariffs and opportunities for improving consumer control over energy use, as well as rewards for flexible use of behind the meter generation,
  • integration of enabling technologies for smart networks such as electric vehicles, rooftop solar and energy storage, and achieving the benefits for grid balancing, and
  • supporting market competition and new services - including consumer trading, half-hourly settlements, and widening industry engagement through regulatory reform.

Regulation - the current framework for UK energy markets, and options for reform to further develop a smart energy system, including:

  • accommodating new household, business and grid-connected energy technologies, as well as adjusting pricing to a changing landscape of behaviour and network usage,
  • simplifying industry codes and facilitate easier grid access for new technologies and services, expand market participation, and ensure agile adaptation to smart innovation,
  • access right reform, and supporting cost reduction and decarbonisation - shared local user access, contribution costs for distribution users, and options for small and large user access,
  • the Targeted Charging Review and potential challenges for supporting flexibility including the impact on behind the meter energy device rollout,
  • the role of AI and machine learning for grid operations, and utilising large and small scale behind the meter assets for balancing and demand side response services, and
  • Ofgem’s System Operator Review, the governance framework, and grid decarbonisation - options for new roles and functions, and the flexibility and integration of low-carbon sources.
  • Tackling power outages - we also expect discussion on the future contribution of smart grids, following recommendations in the BEIS report into the UK power outage last year, including:
    • the possible role of distributed energy assets in improving system security and flexibility going forward,
    • whether the minimum capacity of electricity reserves for the grid should be increased, and how this might affect consumer bills, and
    • developing stronger communication frameworks between system operators, including ESO and DNOs.

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, and officials from BEIS; Homes England; Ofgem; the CCC; the Competition and Markets Authority; the Crown Commercial Service; Defra; the Department for International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Environment Agency; the Health and Safety Executive; the Intellectual Property Office; the Office of Rail and Road; The Scottish Government; the Welsh Government; the Wales Office and the Department for the Economy, NI.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates