Energy Networks Association sets out how grid operators will run flexibility markets

A new report from the organisation explains how to best create the new flexible infrastructure and business models that are required to decarbonise the UK grid

Festival Net Zero 2021

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has set out how grid operators will run new flexibility markets across the country.

It says more flexible infrastructure and business models are needed to help create and enable the smarter, cleaner energy system needed to deliver the new 2050 net zero target and has outlined six main points it believes will enable this to be achieved in a consistent and transparent way.

The plan has been agreed to by Britain’s six Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), GTC (IDNO), the Transmission Owners (TOs) and National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) – it says the latest smart energy technologies in homes, businesses and communities will be needed to boost grid capacity and connect technologies such as renewable generation, electric vehicle (EV) charging points and clean heat pumps to the network.

The first point made by the ENA is that a level playing field for all energy technologies and services is vital, as market neutrality is a “fundamental principle of operating the UK’s energy network infrastructure” – it emphasises its members will provide standardisation across the sector in order to support this.

It also says it will remove barriers to flexibility markets and make sure opportunities for customers are as visible and accessible as possible.

The organisation has committed to being open and transparent in its decisions as to why specific services have been procured in order to meet network needs such as reinforcement – it suggests ultimately, the solution chosen must be most cost-effective and meet the needs of all customers, the system and the networks.

It says it will take a fair, clear and accountable approach to the dispatch of flexibility services by clearly setting out the terms, methodology and decision-making processes used.

The ENA adds it will also provide regular, consistent and transparent monitoring and reporting to provide confidence to the public and ensure all parties can learn from the way flexibility is used, as well as why and how this helps run the energy networks in a smarter and more efficient way.

All member electricity networks plant to continue to work closely to facilitate coordinated and efficient decarbonisation arrangements and ensure that changes deliver the best outcomes for everyone on a “whole energy system basis”.

David Smith, CEO of the ENA, said: “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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