23 September 2016
Changes in the energy sector are creating exciting opportunities for a new director at one of Britain’s leading electricity infrastructure companies.
Ian Smyth wants UK Power Networks Services to help clients reap the financial benefits of unfolding trends, such as the shift to a low carbon economy and technological innovations in the ways electricity is generated, distributed and stored.
Speaking as he took the helm, Ian identified three big benefits available to companies, from a distribution sector which has changed more in the last half-decade than in the previous 20 years.
UK Power Networks Services designs, builds and operates privately-owned electricity networks for critical infrastructure in the commercial and industrial sector.
Ian said: “The industrial and commercial sectors can significantly increase their productivity, release new value from assets and improve environmental impact by taking advantage of the big changes taking place in the energy sector.
“These three benefits can be delivered while the sector moves from fossil fuels to renewables and increasingly localised power distribution. We are at a juncture now in terms of how energy is delivered globally. There are a range of factors at play, including distributed renewable generation feeding into networks, new technologies, more software, intellectual property issues and volatile commodity prices. These present new risks, but also new opportunities.
“This is a hugely exciting time with lots of change; it’s complex and stimulating in terms of the problems you have to solve. We aim to protect our clients during this period of change, so they can focus upon their core business.”
Ian brings to the role a skill set acquired during 25 years working on high-profile infrastructure projects in Europe, the Middle East and North America. Cementing UK Power Networks Services’ leading position in the UK is a priority for him, and expanding into Europe is also under consideration. He takes charge of a team of around 300 engineers and designers.
Ian said: “In terms of our engineering excellence, we are one of the leading companies supporting the commercial and industrial sectors as they change their energy infrastructure. We already operate the largest battery system in Great Britain and are working hard on the next generation of technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
“Getting the design and implementation right is not straightforward, but UK Power Networks Services is uniquely positioned to design and operate these solutions for leading UK companies.”
Ian succeeds Stewart Dawson, who has emigrated to Australia. Prior to joining UK Power Networks Services, Ian was managing director of Energy in Europe & Middle East for Navigant, a global disputes and advisory business. He is a married father of one.