Ofgem approves regional energy planning roles

The energy regulator has announced the creation of regional energy strategic planners to work with local entities, enhancing local energy planning and expediting the journey to net zero

Ofgem is set to establish Regional Energy Strategic Planners (RESPs) across Britain.

These planners will work in collaboration with local government, gas and electricity networks, aiming to improve infrastructure understanding, attract investment for projects and formulate clear plans tailored to each region’s specific needs.

The Future Systems Operator (FSO), overseeing electricity and gas system planning, will take charge of implementing up to 13 RESPs.

Additionally, Ofgem plans to introduce a market facilitator function to enhance flexibility markets, focusing on coordination, implementation, monitoring, and strategic leadership.

Aligned with Ofgem’s broader agenda, in collaboration with the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, this initiative aims to establish a decentralised energy system that fosters flexibility and efficiency.

Ofgem’s Chief Executive Jonathan Brearley said: “The creation of the FSO gives us a once-in-generation opportunity to design the energy system we need to get us to net zero. We’re already working on future energy network planning on a national level and creating RESPs means this can also now happen at a regional level.

“Ofgem looks forward to working with the System Operator and local leaders to create a joined-up roadmap leading to clean, flexible, and aligned future energy systems across Great Britain.”

In response to the news, Julian Leslie ESO Head of Networks and Chief Engineer, said: “The FSO’s independence, cross vector oversight and our experience in holistic network planning means we will be well placed as an organisation to deliver this vital new function for the GB energy network.

“The role of regional energy strategic planner will ensure there is clear accountability and effective coordination in place, tackling gaps and silos which currently exist.”

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