7 questions for the board – Paul Denniff
Paul Denniff has served on the ElectraLink board for over a year. Paul explains his place in the energy sector and why ElectraLink is an essential part of the energy industry.
What led you to a life in the energy sector?
I started my career with a 4-year engineering apprenticeship with a company providing products to the petrochemical, building, mineral, water, energy and MOD sectors. This led to a period within the design department at the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) and then into the gas industry, where I have worked for the last 29 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of the energy sector, and the strong purpose of ensuring energy is delivered safely and reliably, and now with the challenge of net zero carbon.
What is your current role outside of ElectraLink and some core responsibilities?
I am a chartered mechanical and gas engineer and fellow of both the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Institution of Gas Engineers & Managers. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience in running a gas network covering transmission and distribution operations, including strategic network planning, operations planning, asset management, procurement and contract management and change management. My current role is Network and Safety Director at SGN with key responsibilities covering asset management, network planning, gas control operations, regulatory price control investment strategy and engineering policies and standards. I’m the Chief Engineer and custodian of SGN’s Safety Case and responsible for delivering health, safety and environment across SGN’s group of companies.
What do you think the role is of central bodies like ElectraLink in the energy industry?
I believe that the energy supply market and network operators require strong co-ordination through central governance and data management to ensure effective operation for customers. However, it needs to be agile, forward-looking and part of the solution to deliver strategies that tackle climate change.
Why did you choose to join ElectraLink’s board?
Firstly, to bring my experience and perspective to the board from the gas sector and secondly to expand my knowledge. I do see a converging of gas and electricity in terms of heat, transport and waste management as we progress towards net zero carbon. We all need to think whole systems and not industry silos.
What was the most outstanding moment for ElectraLink during your time as a board member?
I have only been on the board for one year, but I am really impressed with ambition of the management team and staff to take a leading role in the industry and how data is instrumental in unlocking value.
Where would you like to see ElectraLink in 5 years?
In simple terms, a key player in the energy transition and respected for its collaborative role.
When you’re not tackling some tough challenges in the energy industry, what do you do for fun?
I have three passions outside of work: skiing, motorbikes and my allotment. I’ve had my allotment for 4 years and absolutely love being there. It is totally immersive, and I always try to grow something different each year. My success this year was aubergines, but I had a very poor harvest of sweetcorn. I’m in the process of planning for next year, and going through seed catalogues…