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Reference Number NIA_NPG_013
Title Measuring the Societal Impact of Network Activities
Status Completed
Energy Categories FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL(Oil and Gas, Refining, transport and storage of oil and gas) 34%;
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electricity transmission and distribution) 33%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 50%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 50%;
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Northern Powergrid
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source ENA Smarter Networks
Start Date 01 March 2017
End Date 01 March 2018
Duration 12 months
Total Grant Value £81,600
Industrial Sectors Power
Region Yorkshire & Humberside
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Northern Powergrid (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , Northern Gas Networks (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives Stage 1 Objectives - Workshops, Interviews, Literature Review Determine what existing information there is regarding societal impact of network activities or related activities that may be relevant, and assess the applicability of these to meeting the network operators? needs. Stage 2 Objectives - Data Indicators and Impacts Gather information on quantitative variables that influence societal impact, resulting from different network activities. Stage 3 Objectives - Gap Analysis Identify gaps in the evidence base where further research may be required to provide a comprehensive picture of societal impact from network activities. Stage 4 Objectives - Recommendations & Final Report Provide recommendations as to the next stages that may be appropriate for the network operators to consider in achieving the overall aim. All information from the project will be aggregated and used to produce a final report. This will include an executive summary suitable for individuals from any background, as well as a clearly structured report containing the detailed analysis. Depending on the nature of tools, evidence and data that has been identified throughout the project the report will include links, annex or supplementary information. It is not envisaged at this stage that full guidance on using data will be included, although we would be happy to discuss this if suitable data is available on which this could be based as the project progresses. The results will provide: A definitive list of both qualitative & quantitative indicators of societal impact of network activities. ; Identification of current applicability of existing indicators and use. ; Identified gaps in current data, availability and prioritisation of the sources. ; Recommendation on use, development and next stages required to complete a robust framework The envisaged this project will include research into current methods of measuring impacts of network activities and result in a feasibility report as to the best methods of utilising the findings from this research to develop a method of assessing current activities and future methods against the newly understood social impacts.
Abstract The UK Utility Distribution Networks currently undertake various essential works which can be seen to have adverse effects on the social environment in which they are undertaken. These mainly include excavations in roads, streets and on customer property which cause traffic congestion, noise, dirt & dust etc. and also various currently undetermined health impacts. Currently there is no single comprehensive framework for measuring the potential societal impacts associated with a proposed intervention. As a result these are not fully considered when evaluating new technologies or approaches that could be used for undertaking network activities. It is therefore difficult to compare the relative advantages of different approaches to delivering outcomes. All of the Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs), District Network Operations (DNOs) and Water and Wastewater companies have explored different elements of societal impact, with focus in different areas. However, this work has never been brought together, and combined with research from other sectors such as transport and construction to create a comprehensive picture of potential societal impacts, and gaps where further research may be needed. When assessing innovative solutions or determining operational activities networks undertake a cost benefit analysis, including non-financial impact assessments. However, these often fail to take into account overall societal costs & benefits, which could increase network costs, but provide greater benefits to UK plc. This unique project brings together four utility networks in the north east of England, Northern Powergrid, Northumbrian Water Ltd, Yorkshire Water Ltd & Northern Gas Networks to assess societal impacts of network activities from both benefits and costs on from both sides. This will be a research project that has the potential to bring about a step-change in understanding network operators? impacts on local populations and other stakeholders. The research will cover the four areas: Current state of knowledge This will involve research into current methods of measuring impacts of network activities, research into how other sectors (both nationally and internationally) may measure societal impact, the metrics used and any existing social impact calculators they already employ, including their perceived precision/benefit, and academic research into other social assessment techniques that may not currently be employed. Assessment of impacts By applying the knowledge gained from the literature review the project will identify relevant data that can be used to quantify impacts under different circumstances. Gap analysis This gap analysis will identify where it is not possible to find quantitative data sources for each of the impacts. The relative importance of these gaps will be prioritised. Recommendations The recommendations will involve the identification of potential areas of additional research to fill the gaps identified (and the type of research required to fill these gaps), as well as a tool road map and outline (i.e. for a subsequent stage), along with other suggestions for "quick wins".Note : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 12/09/18