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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Customer Led Network Revolution appears in Financial Times

(3 February 2014)

An article on the CLNR project appeared on the Financial Times website, in a feature entitled ‘Innovation in Energy’. You can read the article ‘UK’s CLNR tests low-carbon power grids’ (By Chris Tighe) at the Financial Times.

The article highlights the potential of smart grids to address some of the potential challenges posed by shift to low carbon economy. This includes fluctuations in the levels of electricity generated by microgeneration devices such as solar panels and the stress that would be placed on the existing network by widespread electrification of heating and transport.. Smart grids have the potential to improve the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of the UK powergrid. The Customer-Led Network Revolution, the UK’s biggest smart grid project, is exploring how low-carbon technologies such as solar panels, electric vehicles and heat pumps affect the grid. The project hopes to identify if there are alternative cost-effective ways of meeting future energy challenges and reduce the need for expensive network upgrades.

The project is trialling both technology and customer flexibility solutions. The social science team from Durham University is studying the energy use and behaviour of hundreds of electricity customers, including their attitudes to smart meters and their willingness to adapt their usual routines in response to prompts from energy monitors and smart appliances and incentives like time of use tariffs.

The work of the CLNR project was also discussed by BDaily Business News in ‘North East’s smart grid project stages energy industry event’ (20 Jan). The event in Darlington saw more than fifty energy industry attendees, including electricity distribution network operators from across the UK, sharing learning from the project. Knowledge gained from the project was shared with delegates to help them make ‘informed decisions about the changes they can make to cost-effectively facilitate the low carbon transition’.

Read more about the Durham teams work on the CLNR project at

Find out more about the project at