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Our Innovation Projects

We are at the forefront of innovation in the GB energy sector, and have implemented new technologies and solutions on our network to address the challenges of the energy system. We’re continuously thinking big, starting small and scaling fast with our world-leading innovation projects and are becoming the utility of the future whilst delivering value for our customers.

Our goal is to increase efficiency, through constant innovation as we head towards a sustainable Net Zero future. That’s why we’re focused on delivering an extensive innovation programme as part of our RIIO-T2 and ED2 business plans.

We’re working in partnership with industry peers, innovators, businesses and local communities to solve the complex challenges in the energy system,  and alongside our own plans, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) Electricity Network Innovation Strategy helps us all to align our priorities, share thinking and avoid duplicating efforts.

Read more about our portfolio of innovation projects and the mechanisms they’re funded via below:


The Strategic Innovation Fund was launched in 2021 by energy industry regulator Ofgem and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to find and fund ambitious, innovative projects with the potential to accelerate the transition to net zero across the electricity and gas sectors.

Want to know more about SIF? Visit Ofgem’s homepage here.

SP Energy Networks is working with numerous 3rd parties to realise projects that help tackle some of the UK’s biggest and most complex challenges in the push towards the country achieving its net zero emissions targets which are categorised to the following challenge areas:

  • Whole System
    • Fast Flex
    • Asset Reuse and Recovery Collaboration (ARRC)
  • Data & Digitalisation
    • Digi-GIFT
    • Predict4Resilience
    • EnTWINe
  • Heat
    • Flexible Heat
    • Heat Balance
  • Net Zero Transport
    • A Holistic Hydrogen Approach to Heavy Duty Transport (H2H)
    • Resilient and Flexible Railway Multi-Energy Hub Networks for Integrated Green Mobility’

Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Videos

Zero Emmission Transport

Holistic approach to heavy duty transport
Railway multi-energy hubs

Whole System Integration

Fast Flex
Asset re-use and recovery consultation (ARRC)

Decarbonisation of Heat

Heat Balance
Flexible Heat

Data and Digitalisation



As part of RIIO-1, the Electricity Network Innovation Competition (NIC) was an annual opportunity for electricity network companies to compete for funding for the development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements.

SPEN have a strong portfolio of innovative projects which help all network operators understand how to provide environmental benefits, reduce costs, and maintain security of supply as Great Britain (GB) moves to a low carbon economy. Our project portfolio is listed below:


The Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) as part of the RIIO-1 & RIIO-2 price controls. Through this, we have a set amount cost as part of their price control allowance in order to fund smaller technical, commercial, or operational projects directly related to us that have the potential to deliver financial benefits to the licensee and its customers.

We have provided some information on our key projects, with our full NIA publication being available through the Energy Networks Association portal: Smarter Networks Portal.

Legacy Schemes

In addition to our SIF, NIC and NIA we have also leveraged additional innovation funding from a variety of sources to deliver innovation which is critical to improving our future.

Business as Usual

In addition to leveraged funding, we are also committed to delivering high TRL innovation through our business allowances, in line with our Innovation strategy and RIIO2 business plans. One of the key projects we are proud to showcase is project PACE:



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