Zero Carbon System Operation Event 

National Grid ESO, Warwick, United Kingdom, 11th March 2020

“Zero Carbon System Operation” was the first event of the zero carbon 2020 event series organised by the CIGRE Women’s Network UK (WNUK) Steering Committee.

The event was opened by Dr Biljana Stojkovska, Innovation Manager at National Grid ESO (NGESO) and Chair of the CIGRE WNUK.The event on 11th March 2020 was kindly hosted by National Grid ESO at their offices in Warwick. It combined technical, soft skill and networking session which is a format of WNUK 2020 events. Around 40 delegates attended the event with more people joining the technical session by webinar due to COVID-19. The event delegates were very diverse and we had both women and men representing several companies, including utilities, consultancies, professional institutions, energy tech companies and academia.

The event highlighted the challenges we are facing in achieving zero carbon system operation of the electricity system and network assets. We discussed how the combination of clean, distributed energy sources and new emerging technologies are changing the way our electricity transmission and distribution systems operate. This is also changing the way we work, and in order to succeed, we need to work together, with a common net zero mission.

In addition to technical sessions, WNUK are dedicated to support our members with soft skills development to unlock our individual potential to maximize performance. In order to support diversity and inclusion, we aim to deliver workshops which enable individuals to present themselves with gravitas and authenticity to get their message across, to make a difference in their respective areas and organizations.

The first session was a soft skill workshop “Building LeaderLike Communication Intelligence 3 ways” delivered by the internationally renowned Robert Kahn, CEO of LeaderLike You! who will deliver soft skills workshop for all our 2020 events. Robert has been coaching teams and executives from global industries and UN organizations. This workshop focused on the characteristics and impact of three styles of communications:

  • Authoritative – Passive aggressive, Overlay aggressive, Openly aggressive;
  • Apathy – Passive, Pleaser, Placater;
  • Assertiveness – Strong, Medium, Gentle.

Robert used very illustrative and engaging role plays to allow the members to see and experience the different communication styles. It was great fun!

Rob presentation

Our second session was the technical session which focused on a number of key challenges and solutions that need to be addressed to operate the electricity system and network assets at zero carbon from both system operator and network owner perspectives.

Angela Wilks, Operation Manager at National Grid ESO, delivered her presentation via Webinar due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Angela is one of the NG ESO most respected control room operation managers and leads a team that manages real time electricity power system operations to meet license standards safely and economically at all times. She presented some of the major challenges that Electricity System Operator of Great Britain is facing to achieve the goal of zero carbon system operation by 2025. She also talked about exciting new ways the company is working to enhance stability and voltage and explained how the NGESO is taking forward collaboration with the rest of the industry to help them overcome these operational challenges.

Angela presentation

Paul Gallagher, Engineering Services & Innovation Manager at National Grid ET, provided an overview of how the Electricity Transmission Owner for England and Wales will facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy. He shared the investment needed in the infrastructure to support low-carbon generation, how to facilitate new low-carbon connections and how to work closely with partners to reduce transmission related constraints.

Paul presentation

The final session of the event was dedicated to networking. New connections where naturally made around tea and macaroons. It was very pleasant hearing feedback and comments from our diverse members and delegates. Men and women commented very positively on this first event and we already have a good part of them determined to join the full 2020 Zero Carbon CIGRE UK Women Network event series!


CIGRE WNUK is committed to creating empowerment environment for women in energy sector, deliver inspiring events and creating a strong community where women can help each other and men support them. If you are interested to get involved, please get in touch here.

NEXT EVENT – Zero Carbon System Operation

NG ESO, Warwick, 11th March 2020

The next CIGRE Women’s Network UK event is a 3-hour event focusing on challenges we are facing in achieving zero carbon operation.

Zero carbon system operation of the electricity system and network assets means a fundamental change to how our system and networks are designed to operate – integrating newer technologies right across the system – from large scale off-shore wind to domestic scale solar panels and increased demand side participation, by using new smart digital systems to manage and control the system in real-time.

Transforming the electricity system and network assets so that it can operate at zero carbon is ambitious and challenging and requires us to work collaboratively in order to address and solve some critical engineering challenges.

The first session will focus on a number of key challenges and solutions that need to be addressed to operate the electricity system and network assets at zero carbon.

The second session will be a soft skill workshop “Building LeaderLike Communication Intelligence 3 ways” focusing on presentation skills (technics, mechanics & approaches), emotional awareness (availability & interaction) and communication skills (acceptance, awareness & resistance).


  • 14:30 – 15:00 Registration & Refreshments
  • 15:00 – 16:00 Zero carbon System Operation
    • Angela Wilks (NG Electricity System Operator)
    • Paul Gallagher (NG Electricity Transmission)
  • 16:00 – 17:00  Soft Skill Workshop – Building LeaderLike Communication Intelligence 3 Ways
    • Robert Kahn (Leader LikeYou!)
  • 17:00 – 18:00 Networking

WNUK Speakers Mar 2020

Please note that due to limited spaces, this event is open on a first come, first served basis.

To secure your place click here.

2020 Vision

2019 has been a good year with great achievements such as the “Journey to Zero Carbon Energy Systems” event held in November 2019 at the IET London that exceeded our expectations with great sessions and workshop discussions.

CIGRE WNUK in 2020 will go beyond the energy industry and be the link to other industries in order to support the decarbonization of our cities.

This year we will organise 4 events which are going to be 3-hour events (except the final session of the year which will be a full day event):

  • 1-hour will be specially dedicated to growth of our soft skills
  • 1-hours will be fully focused on a topic related to the decarbonization goal
  • 1 -hour will be dedicated to the networking

All soft skills sessions in all 4 events will be delivered by Robert Kahn (LeaderLike You! https://www.leaderlikeyou.com/) to bring continuity to our soft skills development journey.

For more details about the upcoming events, please check our event’s page.

Journey to Zero Carbon Energy Systems

IET Savoy, London, 7th November 2019

“Journey to Zero Carbon Energy Systems” was the sixth event organised by the CIGRE Women’s Network UK (WNUK) Steering Committee (SC) since the establishment of the Network in 2016.

The event on 7 November 2019 at IET Savoy in London was kindly sponsored by Capita Consulting and National Grid ESO. More than 60 delegates attended the event, representing a diversity of age and gender, and widespread backgrounds, including utility services, equipment suppliers, consultancies, professional institutions and academia.


The event highlighted that carbon dioxide reduction is an issue not only in national infrastructure but also for all engineering businesses. The theme of the event focused on the ways in which carbon emissions can be quantified and managed by professionals during design, planning, operation and maintenance of networks. The speakers focused on actions supporting professional and personal development, with the use of technology to complement professional behavioural strategies that will eventually provide direct impact upon carbon emissions.

The combination of clean energy sources with new emerging technologies will materially change the relationship of society with energy. With an ambition to achieve zero carbon energy systems, we will need to overcome a wide range of challenges, change the way of working and transform our own roles. In order to succeed, our energy industry will need to work together, where all industry stakeholders have a common mission.

This latest WNUK event combined three keynote speakers and three workshops to deliver an exciting and stimulating day for delegates.

The event was opened by Dr Biljana Stojkovska, Innovation Manager at National Grid ESO and Chair of the CIGRE WNUK, followed by a presentation by Chris Cartwright, Head of Utility at Capita Consulting.

Keynote speaker Dame Fiona Woolf, former Lord Major of London, gave an inspirational talk on the context of zero carbon networks and how the potential for deep cultural change is powerful enough to generate major societal change in the energy domain.

Adam Middleton, Managing Director of Siemens Netherlands (Gas & Power Division) and Chair of CIGRE UK, and Diana Van Den Heuvel, Corporate Account Director at Siemens Netherlands and Vice Chair of CIGRE Netherlands, delivered an engaging workshop on the deep challenges of delivering a zero carbon energy life style. The workshop aimed at providing delegates the opportunity to discover how they can personally contribute to zero carbon energy systems, both professionally and through their personal lives.

An interactive question and answer session and a networking break closed the first part of the event.

The second part of the event was a thought-provoking presentation from Lily Coles, Commercial Operations Director at Anesco, on current and new technologies needed to create zero carbon energy systems, with a case study of the UK’s first subsidy free solar farm.

Ayssar Hanza, Risk Engineering Director at ACE Energy Group, led an interactive session around future technologies.

The last session was opened by Anne Wilson, Head of Careers at University of Warwick, who delivered a talk on the need for future skills.

This was followed by a workshop lead by Dawn Hurst from EA Inclusion. The workshop focused on different traits, values and behaviours required for a future success in the low carbon energy industry and challenged our personal behaviours around the need for change. The session was eye-opening around what constitutes the level of personal change required to deliver a Zero Carbon Energy landscape.

In concluding the event, it was clear that the industry faces a range of deep and material changes if Zero Carbon targets are to be achieved within the political timeframes. Much remains to be done.

CIGRE WNUK is committed to creating empowerment environment for women in energy sector, deliver inspiring events and creating a strong community where women can help each other.

The event presentations can be found here and the event photos can be found here.

The women behind Carnegie Road Battery Storage System

Led by a member of CIGRE Women’s Network UK, Bridgit Hartland-Johnson, Investment Manager at Ørsted, and Biljana Stojkovska, Innovation manager at NGESO and Chair of CIGRE Women’s Network UK, a group of female engineers undertook an official visit to Ørstead 20MW Battery Storage site in Carnegie Road, Liverpool on the 11th January, 2019.

This project is a shining example of a diverse team led by 26 female engineers delivering new and innovative technology. Ørsted are developing this battery with the intention to demonstrate the ability to supply active and reactive power services to energy market.

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