UK embedded energy grew by 6% in the last year

Total embedded generation in the UK increased by 6% between the first quarter of 2016 and 2017. That’s according to energy market data manager Electralink, which suggests much of this growth has come from […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Total embedded generation in the UK increased by 6% between the first quarter of 2016 and 2017.

That’s according to energy market data manager Electralink, which suggests much of this growth has come from renewable sources such as wind and solar installations – in March this year, wind and solar generation were up a third on the same period in 2016.

This power is connected to local distribution networks and as a result is essentially invisible to the system operator, National Grid.

National Grid expects half of the UK’s generation will be embedded and connected in this way by 2030.

However, with increased intermittent renewable generation comes increased output volatility, unbalancing supply and demand margins.

This is likely to require National Grid to turn power plants on or off, sometimes at short notice and at high prices.

Dan Hopkinson, Head of Network and Energy Market Insights, said: “Lack of visibility of embedded generation compounds intermittency issues particularly with the growth of renewables.

“Balancing supply and demand requires National Grid to accurately forecast embedded renewables and given the rapid development of this type of generation, near real-time embedded generation data detailing what is being generated and where, is very valuable to the marketplace.”

Local electricity network operators must be more flexible when responding to requests for connections.