UK fares poorly in power system flexibility rankings

A new report published by the Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology says this risks delaying the transition to a greener future energy system

The UK has fared poorly in newly-published power system flexibility rankings, which placed it in eighth position among nine European nations surveyed.

The new report published by the Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology (REA) and commissioned by Eaton and Drax claims regulatory uncertainty, lack of visibility on returns and technical challenges are impeding investment in flexibility services.

It notes this poses a significant problem as more renewables are brought online and risks delaying the transition to a greener future energy system – flexibility is becoming increasingly important as intermittent renewables such as wind and solar replace large fossil-fuelled power stations.

The UK scored poorly on market factors such as a clear and stable regulatory and market framework, with the report also drawing attention to potential difficulties accessing the distribution network and a lack of progress on delivering smart electric vehicle charging.

The Netherlands topped the league table, while Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Norway also scored highly, leaving Germany, the UK and France lagging behind.

Dr Nina Skorupska, Chief Executive of the REA, said: “Decarbonising power means delivering flexibility. In a world of very low-cost variable renewable electricity generation, grids need to be organised differently and some services which were once taken for granted need to be actively procured.

“That’s why the REA is calling for the next government to address the barriers to flexibility by delivering wholesale systems change and reform Ofgem as a priority.”

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