New report outlines how infrastructure and business models will help decarbonise the UK grid

New report outlines how infrastructure and business models will help decarbonise the UK grid

The Energy Network Association has set out how grid operators are planning for flexibility markets

A new report from the Energy Network Association (ENA) has outlined the best ways to create new flexible infrastructure and business models to decarbonise the UK grid. The ENA sets out how grid operators will be running new flexibility markets across the country in order to make this happen.

It reports that rethinking infrastructure and business models will be required in order to help create a cleaner, smarter energy system.

These new systems will be an important part of the efforts to deliver the “net zero carbon by 2050” target outlined earlier this month by Theresa May. The report has also outlined six key factors it thinks will enable this goal to be achieved consistently and transparently.

The ENA report outlines a six-point plan for reaching the 2050 goal

The six-point plan introduced by the ENA has been agreed to by the UK’s six Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), Independent Distribution Network Operator GTC, the Transmission Owners (TOs) and the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO).

It outlines that the most up-to-date smart electricity technologies will be needed in both homes and businesses in order to boost grid capacity and connect technology like renewable generation, electric vehicle charging points and clean heat pumps to the network.

The first point described in the ENA’s report is the need for a level playing field. All energy technologies and services must be able to benefit from market neutrality, as this is a “fundamental principle of operating the UK’s energy network infrastructure”.

The report states that its members will offer standardisation across the energy sector in order to support this. They also promise to remove barriers to markets to make sure opportunities are made visible and accessible for customers.

Looking forward to a more open energy market

The ENA has stated that it is committed to being open and honest in its decision-making. This includes explaining why specific services have been procured in order to meet network needs like reinforcement. The organisation suggests that, ultimately, any solution chosen needs to be cost-effective while also meeting all the requirements of customers, the system and the networks.

As such, the ENA has promised to take a clear, fair and accountable approach to dispatching flexibility services. This means setting out terms, methodology and decision-making processes clearly. It has also committed to providing consistent and transparent reports in order to maintain public confidence. This ensures that all partied involved – from customers to suppliers and beyond – can learn from the way flexibility is being used, seeing how and why this helps energy networks run in a more efficient, smarter way.

Electricity networks also plan to continue to work closely with each other in order to facilitate efficiently coordinated decarbonisation arrangements. This will help make sure that any changes delivered result in the best outcomes for everyone.

CEO of the ENA, David Smith, shared his thoughts on the new report, describing what he thought it meant for the future of the energy market, saying:

“With the 2050 Net Zero target being put into law, it’s more important than ever to get the fundamentals of our new energy system right.

“The commitment made by the networks today sets out the role that smart technology in people’s homes, businesses and communities can play in building a grid that can help deliver that target.”

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