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Gas innovations win at UK Energy Innovation Awards 2019

04th October 2019

Innovators have an important role to play in supporting the UK to meet its net zero targets for greenhouse gas emission by 2050.

This was the message from the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2019 which took place on Thursday evening at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. Over 350 guests from the utilities sector and innovation community attended the ninth prestigious awards ceremony, organised and hosted by innovation scout, the EIC.

This years’ ceremony saw the celebration of successful projects in the gas industry, with small businesses Synthotech and Steve Vick International both taking home prizes for work undertaken with Northern Gas Networks.

Opening proceedings, Dermot Nolan, CEO of Ofgem, said: “This evening is a remarkable celebration of the good work being done to drive innovation into our energy systems. However, we need more innovation from third parties and those outside of the sector to help support the scale and pace of change needed to meet the demand for a net zero carbon future. For this to happen we must create a level playfield for innovators and that is why the EIC plays such an important role. Innovation will be important to decarbonising the system at lowest cost to consumers. The next price control will be tougher on the industry but will reward those networks pushing innovation and bringing new technology into business as usual.”

The prize for Best Gas Network Improvement was given to Synthotech Ltd for their System Two Assess and Seal Solution (STASS) robotics project, developed in conjunction with Northern Gas Networks and ALH Systems, to be used to asses the condition of live gas pipes and prevent future leaks, all while reducing the impact on the customer. Combining three gas network approved technologies, STASS works by launching a robotic into a cast iron gas pipe to assess the condition of joints from the inside, reducing the need to dig down, before spraying a sealant into the joint as a leak prevention technique.

Steve Vick International took home the award for Best Innovation in Gas for Enhanced SEAL, a collaborative project with Northern Gas Networks, which aims to deliver an innovative technique to safely and efficiently abandons 100% of T1 mains. The award-winning technique significantly reduces disruption to customers, while reducing environmental impact by reducing the size of excavations. The project has saved over £3million in benefits to date.

In closing the event, the EIC’s Managing Director, Denise Massey, said: “This year’s event has truly highlighted the UK’s strength in developing innovative solutions for the immediate challenges the energy sector faces.

“The fact that a large number of this year’s entrants are supporting our industry to become smarter and greener, really does provide confidence that the UK can lead the way when it comes to tackling the challenges of climate change and meet its target on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The expertise and skills needed to meet this challenge are already present in the innovator community, however, we also need bold leadership from within the utilities sector to identify the areas that most need innovating.

“We’re now in our ninth year of the awards and the quality of entries is still getting better each year. This not only proves that innovators have a major role to play in our energy and utilities landscape, it also demonstrates the need for their continued collaboration with energy distribution networks and utility providers.”  

The UK Energy Innovation Awards winners are:

Best electricity network improvement – Outram Research Ltd
Best innovation (electricity) – Kaluza
Best gas network improvement - Synthotech Ltd
Best innovation (gas) – Steve Vick International
Best water utility improvement –nuron Ltd
Best innovation (water) – PAM Analytics
Best collaborative project – PassivSystems Limited
Young innovator of the year – Rob Battrum
Young Innovator of the Year (Highly Commended) – Thomas Shepherd
Best emerging cross-vector technology – PassivSystems Limited
Best DSO enabling project – Turbo Power Systems (TPS)
Social impact – Egnida Group Limited
Customer focus – GenGame Ltd