The UK needs to make decisions about the future of its energy systems sooner rather than later.
That’s according to a new report from the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), which says choices need to be made about which infrastructure to expand, maintain or decommission, as well as figuring out when and how this should be done.
The report suggests the markets involved will need the right incentives and targeted investments to adapt and enhance existing networks in a timely manner.
It says a crucial aspect of a functional energy system is ensuring energy supply is in balance with energy demand and emphasises the need for energy networks to be carefully planned and managed to ensure they have sufficient operational flexibility to allow this.
Liam Lidstone, the ETI’s Strategy Manager for Energy Storage and Distribution said: “The existing UK networks have evolved over time but were largely engineered to address a different set of operational challenges to those the country now faces.
“Therefore choices need to be made about which networks to build, develop, maintain or decommission as well as when and where to do so and the impact should be analysed across the whole energy system and not in isolation.”
The ETI has previously said moving to a low carbon system will require existing energy networks to be “radically transformed“.