The recent UK Transmission & Distribution Network Operator LCNI conference at Manchester Central was a great event, – the blend of utility companies with both mature and emerging technology providers was very impressive.  It was also tremendous to see the blend of both mature and emerging talent coming to grips with a sector which is on the cusp of technology, customer and market led change.  The conference sessions were also extremely well put together, and this was a true evidencing of the effort that is being expelled to shape the future.


The one phrase that was on everyone’s lips throughout this event was that of DSO.  I must confess to being somewhat surprised by this and initially I thought, – great, the sector and its players are on top of their game with this activity.  I did take some time with all those I met to explore further the concept of a DSO.  When I asked the question, What is a DSO?, I was repeatedly and reliably informed it was the Distribution System Operator.  Out of curiosity, I would then ask, What is the Distribution System Operator?  In response to this question, it became very clear to me, we very much have a sector at sea, on a journey of discovery.   THIS WAS A SIGNIFICANT INDICATOR FOR ME, the industry has realised there is a wave of change coming, primed by the technology capability and customer pull.  The sector is admirably trying to work things out and piece a way forward that makes sense.  All stakeholders, new, old, suppliers and customers have the ability to shape the DSO development, and now is the time to be getting on with it, so that policy makers deliver something in a market effort which is both workable and stimulating for new flexible, integrated, energy solutions.


Over the coming weeks I will share some thoughts on DSO, which undoubtedly are my views, drawn from observations elsewhere, but very much geared to helping shape a sensible forward path.  I would suggest there are potentially many high risk potential avenues to follow, those that succeed will be rich in benefits for the customer, without the burden of unnecessary risk.