The weather may have turned sour just as the Conservative Party conference got under way in Manchester but delegates sitting in the main hall gave a rapturous round of applause to Foreign Secretary William Hague, as a wide-ranging speech designed to galvanise Party members. Hague is widely recognised as one of the most popular ministers among the Conservative grassroots and, judging by the reception he received, the former Party leader bolstered this reputation with a stinging attack on Labour’s economic policy and a strong endorsement of the Government’s agenda.
On the fringe, the Energy Networks Association hosted a debate on the future of power networks in the UK. The panel was in agreement that the sector is entering one of the most dynamic periods of change it has seen in decades, with network owners and operators having to manage a revolution in the way power in generated and connected to a network that is itself in need of over £50bn investment. This path towards smarter networks and the integration of microgeneration is currently the subject of much discussion between DECC, Ofgem, industry and other stakeholders.