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NORTHERN POWERGRID TO LEAD COMPELLING LOW-CARBON DISCUSSION WITH ENERGY, BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS

Stakeholder EngagementDr Gabrielle Walker set to deliver this year’s keynote speech on the global context of decarbonisation at this year’s annual stakeholder summit

Northern Powergrid, the distribution network operator (DNO) for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, today brings more than 100 stakeholders together from the world of energy, transport, business and community leadership at its annual stakeholder summit. The network operator will steer bold discussions on the region’s role in delivering clean energy across the UK and invite attendees to debate how best the power distribution network can meet the needs of local people.

The North is facing the very real challenge of reducing carbon emissions to prevent irreversible climate change. The collaborative session at the iconic Cloth Hall in Leeds will offer a comprehensive update on Northern Powergrid’s activity over the last year and plans for the future as it evolves its network to be the smart, flexible cornerstone of the country’s energy system – acting as a key enabler to climate change mitigating action.

Setting the scene for the day, this year’s keynote address will be delivered by strategist, writer and broadcaster Dr Gabrielle Walker. Dr Walker will explore the global context of decarbonisation, reflecting on the role of energy in enabling change and assessing the challenges and changes the industry and organisations across the region need to make to achieve decarbonisation goals.

Delegates will be invited to join interactive workshops on crucial topics including decarbonising transport, network flexibility and ensuring that the transition to a low carbon energy system benefits every single member of society. The workshops are supported by a host of leading industry experts who will help shape discussions, including Carol Botten, Chief Executive of the Voluntary Organisations' North East Network; Andrew Brooks, the Commissioning Manager of Lincolnshire County Council; Dr Sara Walker, Reader in Energy at Newcastle University and Decarbon8; together with Tom Knowland, the Head of Sustainable Energy and Climate Change for Leeds City Council.

“Approximately three quarters of local authorities in our region have declared climate emergencies. Debates around the decarbonisation of transport and heat are reaching maturity and we, as a network, are delivering an increasing number of projects designed to ready our power network for the sharp increase in renewable generation it needs to support our customers in a zero carbon society,” commented Patrick Erwin, Director of Policy and Markets, Northern Powergrid. “The time to address these issues is now and our business is changing at pace to not only meet the needs of the modern power landscape, but act as a clear enabler for zero carbon activity and correlating it with northern prosperity. Our 2019 Stakeholder Summit represents our ambition to engage and consult customers at every step of this transition to create a truly customer-led electricity network for the 3.9m homes and businesses we serve.”

This year, Northern Powergrid is aiming to help attendees get the best from the event with a dedicated conference app. Places for the Stakeholder Summit are fully booked, but content will be made available online afterwards.