A Review and Synthesis of the Outcomes from Low Carbon Networks Fund Projects

Frame, Damien Fleming and Bell, Keith and McArthur, Stephen (2016) A Review and Synthesis of the Outcomes from Low Carbon Networks Fund Projects. UK Energy Research Centre, London.

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The Low Carbon Networks Fund (LCNF) was established by Ofgem in 2009 with an objective to “help Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) understand how they provide security of supply at value for money and facilitate transition to the low carbon economy”. The £500m fund operated in a tiered format, funding small scale projects as Tier 1 and running a Tier 2 annual competitive process to fund a smaller number of large projects. By 31st March 2015, forty Tier 1 projects and twenty-three Tier 2 projects had been approved with project budgets totalling £29.5m and £220.3m respectively. The LCNF governance arrangements state that projects should focus on the trialling of: new equipment (more specifically, that unproven in GB), novel arrangements or applications of existing equipment, novel operational practices, or novel commercial arrangements. The requirement that learning gained from projects could be disseminated was a key feature of the LCNF. The motivation for the review reported here was a recognition that significant learning and data had been generated from a large volume of project activity but, with so many individual reports published, that it was difficult for outside observers to identify clear messages with respect to the innovations investigated under the programme. This review is therefore intended to identify, categorise and synthesise the learning outcomes published by LCNF projects up to December 2015.