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Impact of Technology on Infrastructure Explored

National Infrastructure Commission looks at the impact of technological change on future infrastructure supply and demand.

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has been tasked with putting together a National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) once a parliament.

The National Infrastructure Assessment will analyse the UK’s long-term economic infrastructure needs, outline a strategic vision over a 30-year time horizon and set out recommendations for how identified needs should begin to be met. It will cover transport, digital, energy, water and wastewater, flood risk and solid waste, assessing the infrastructure system as a whole. It will look across sectors, identifying and exploring the most important interdependencies and cross-cutting themes.

The NIC has published it's first paper looking at technology, as part of a series looking at the drivers of future infrastructure supply and demand in the UK.

The paper considers these cross-cutting trends across the sectors under the Commission’s remit and their potential impacts over the next thirty years, examining how technology can:

  1. Reduce the need to build new infrastructure
  2. Create demand for additional infrastructure
  3. Lower the cost of supplying infrastructure
  4. Create demand for a new infrastructure system
  5. Drive a decrease in demand for an infrastructure system
  6. Lead to more vulnerable infrastructure systems

Based on the analysis in this paper, the Commission is developing three scenarios based on varying rates of technological change as inputs into its broader scenario development for the National Infrastructure Assessment. These will assume different rates of change across key technologies which could have an impact on infrastructure supply and demand to 2050.

The NIC welcomes comments on the paper until February 2017. If you have any comments please get in touch with Aimee Betts-Charalambous.



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