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National Infrastructure Commission on smart power for UK cities

We have been talking to Katie Black, Head of Policy at the National Infrastructure Commission ahead of our June forum at which she will be joining our energy infrastructure discussion panel. She will be speaking on Smart Power, flexible electricity generation and distribution and the de-carbonisation of freight transport - all with a view to making our cities healthier, more resource efficient and sustainable.

This has become an important topic as the UK grapples with new forms of power over the traditional forms that have been a feature of our energy infrastructure landscape over the last fifty years.

Katie joined the NIC upon its creation in November 2015 to work in the energy team, before this working in the Department of Energy and Climate Change and in industry where she led a business change project for Good Energy. Katie said:

'The NIC has written recommendations on Smart Power and flexible electricity generation and distribution and made energy recommendations to the government in its National Infrastructure Assessment published in 2018.

'This puts the focus on a highly renewable energy ecosystem and a pull back from nuclear power. The NIA has recommended that the UK achieves close to 100% of all new car and van sales as electric by 2030 - and that government, Ofgem and local authorities should enable the roll-out of charging infrastructure to achieve this.. Now the NIC is currently working on strategies for the de-carbonisation of freight transport and deliveries in the UK'.

Katie joins our forum where we be holding a round table research exercise, the input of which will be documented in a post-forum White Paper.

Meanwhile Sir John Armitt, Chair of the NIC has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to use this autumn's Spending Review to commit to a once-in-a-generation transformation of the UK's transport, energy and technology networks.

In a letter to the Chancellor, Sir John lays down four key tests by which the Commission will judge the credibility of the government's National Infrastructure Strategy, which is expected to be announced at the autumn Spending Review.

Sir John warned: 'Building the right infrastructure for the mid-21st century will help Britain shape a new national and global identity. One built on optimism and confidence'.

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