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The past month saw a flurry of activity from Government looking at how we can prepare the UK for a smarter, cleaner, fairer and more productive future.
Within energy we saw the launch of the Smart Systems Forum. A successor of the Smart Grid Forum, this new forum is tasked with helping to implement and steer BEIS and Ofgem's Smart Systems & Flexibility Plan, as well as provide industry oversight on wider network issues related to the evolution of the electricity system. techUK is delighted to join the Forum and will keep members updated as work progresses, highlighting areas where members can directly contribute.
BEIS published its long awaited Clean Growth Strategy setting out proposals for decarbonising the UK economy through the 2020s. The strategy builds on a number of successes. In 2016, 47% of energy came from low carbon sources and the UK has more offshore wind capacity than anyone else. Domestic energy consumption is down by 17% on 1990 levels, despite the growth in electronics and the arrival of the internet. There is, however, more to be done if the UK is to continue to support low carbon growth. We worked closely with Government on key aspects of the strategy including the built environment, business energy costs, and smart infrastructure. BEIS are keen to explore further the role of technology - in December we have Amy Jenkins, who edited the document, attending the next techUK Environmental Strategy Council to talk you through the next steps. If you’d like to attend please get in touch.
As we look towards the future, ensuring we have the right infrastructure in place will be fundamental. Last week the NIC published its interim National Infrastructure Assessment examining key infrastructure priorities to address the growing challenges of congestion, capacity and carbon. techUK worked closely with the NIC over the past year and we welcome the increased focus on technology and digital infrastructure, particularly in our cities and on our roads.
Last week also saw the launch of a new thought leadership piece. In association with techUK and the ICE, Pinsent Masons published The Evolution of Infratech. This new report looks at how technology is shaping the future of infrastructure, providing key industry insight into how companies around the world are dealing with the transformation.
We also continue to engage with the Infrastructure Client Group’s Project 13. We hold a seat on the Digital Transformation workstream led by Mark Enzer, which you can find out about here.
Finally Government published the independent review, 'Growing the Artificial Intelligence Industry in the UK'. The review led by Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton, and Jérôme Pesenti, Chief Executive of BenevolentTech details how government can work with industry to boost UK's growing AI industry.