Another year, another Future Energy Scenarios (FES) report from National Grid. But with huge technological advances being delivered at an unprecedented rate and continued political uncertainty, FES2017 could be the most important one yet.

The report is produced every year to provide a credible range of energy futures for the UK. It serves as the starting point for energy related regulated long-term investment and operability planning, as well as a reference point for other National Grid reports. However, unlike in some previous years, a lot has happened since the last FES report - both politically and in the innovation of technologies.

Firstly, the global political landscape has changed immeasurably. Aside from the chaos of the White House administration, we have seen the US withdraw from the Paris Accord, a general election in the UK and the continued uncertainty of Brexit.

Then we have technological innovation. Huge technological advances are being delivered at an unprecedented rate and this is one of the key drivers in the evolution of our energy landscape.

Many of these developments are disrupting the traditional energy status quo today, such as an ever changing and divergent energy mix. There are also developments in technologies such as electric vehicles, smart devices and consumer behaviour change, to name but a few, which will impact our energy use in the future.

When the Government announced recently it will ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040, it was not only a landmark decision, but also a wake-up call for the infrastructure changes that will be needed to facilitate the shift towards electric vehicles. This, and the points I make before it, means our energy systems will need to more flexible than ever.

Progress is being made, of course, There have been some important industry milestones recently, with no coal used for 24 hours in April 2017, and both wind and solar each providing more energy than coal for several months in 2016.

There is innovation of new consumer technologies, advancements in alternative sources of gas and high levels of distributed generation. But the fact remains that the UK needs to ensure it has the systems and capability in place to support this change.

The FES report outlines a range of credible pathways for the future of energy out to 2050. The scenarios describe the possible sources of, and demands for, gas and electricity and their implications for consumers and the energy industry. With so much change under way, it is more important than ever to get it right, and the answer lies in decentralised and renewable generation.

A shift towards decentralised and renewable generation is evident in all four scenarios in the 2017 report, with solutions including interconnectors, storage and thermal generation all discussed at length. These developments mirror a continued shift away from non-renewable generation sources, supported by energy policy, and as information communications technology (ICT) develops and systems become smart enabled, new commercial opportunities are emerging, particularly for decentralised technologies. Now is the time to take action.