In the past, network companies have focussed primarily on their own network requirements, with active coordination and information exchange with neighbouring networks and users being limited.
As we decarbonise the energy sector to meet climate change targets, we must develop our networks to create additional capacity that will facilitate the connection of low carbon technologies and the electrification sectors like heat, transport and gas.
Enabling this future is dependent not only on the role that network companies play, but also on effectively harnessing the contribution that can be made by other parties.
That's why the concept of Whole System thinking challenges us to plan and develop our network with the knowledge of the full range of solutions available, and awareness of the impact our actions might have beyond our own networks. It requires frameworks for joint planning and data sharing between network companies, system operators, network users and other stakeholders.