Through Joseph Swan’s work, the North East can lay claim to inventing the electric light bulb, indeed Cragside was the first home in the world to be lit by Swan’s light bulb. But this was not the only advance. In the early 20th century the North East had developed the largest power distribution network in Europe, which in turn attracted many industries to the region. This went on to become the foundation for the national grid which supplies power across the UK. Today, our universities continue to be at the forefront of renewable power, including in the field of geology where we can lay claim to leading the way in geothermal energy, and also in the wider application of solar cells and ‘smart’ power technology.
Map of the Newcastle upon Tyne Electric Supply Co Ltd (NESCo) and The County of Durham Electrical Power Distribution Co Ltd electric power distribution network, about 1907
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