National Grid’s Winser to chair new UK energy systems, storage centre
Nick Winser, a National Grid executive director, has been appointed as chairman of a new energy systems centre in the UK that aims to speed commercialization of storage and other energy and grid technologies.
The Energy Systems Catapult, which opened for business in April, is one of several hubs set up by the UK government to improve links between cutting-edge fields of R&D and private industry.
Winser had been a member of National Grid’s board for 11 years before leaving last year.
This July he will also step down as chairman of subsidiaries National Grid Gas and National Grid Electricity Transmission as well as president of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity.
Winser previously had been the chief operating officer of National Grid’s US transmission business since 2001.
He began working at National Grid in 1993 holding a number of managerial roles before becoming the company’s director of engineering in 2001.
He started his career at the state-owned Central Electricity Generating Board in 1983, working in a number of technical and engineering posts before becoming involved in the privatization of the UK electricity industry in 1989, then joining PowerGen as a commercial negotiator in 1991.
The focus of the Energy Systems Catapult will be on technology-based products and services, including energy storage, to transform and improve energy networks, in electricity, combustible gases and heat.
Like its counterparts, the main aim of the Energy Systems Catapult is to connect businesses with UK research and academia, support the commercialization of new products and services and open up new opportunities for exporting to global markets.
UK universities have been leading developers in whole systems approaches to energy as well as enabling technologies for energy systems such as storage, power electronics, system controls and communications technologies.
However, small and mid-sized companies that are trying to bring these types of innovations and new products to market face a number of obstacles.
For example, in dealing with a sector that is regulated, conservative and complex, suffers a lack of resources and a need for supportive environments in which to test promising inventions and new technologies relating to energy systems.