The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched five best-practice guides designed to help distributed energy generators and local energy players with business planning and investment decisions.
Launched as part of the ENA's Open Networks Project, the five new publications feature key industry terms and definitions, feasibility studies and guidelines on how flexibility services can best be connected to the existing grid and used to manage the system smarter and more efficiently.
The Open Networks Project is an industry-wide project that brings together energy network companies with 45 energy experts and industry representatives to lay the foundations for the UK's smart grid. This includes developing a better understanding of the changing roles for all parties such as emerging distribution system operators.
Once rolled out at a local level, these best-practice guides will benefit customers and the networks - from the Shetland Islands to the Scilly Isles.
The publications include:
- Reference document with terms and definitions, which will be updated regularly, helps customers to understand key terms and language used in the industry and by the energy networks.
- Outline of an online, country-wide register which could provide a comprehensive database of energy connections across the UK, helping customers decide where to locate new connections.
- Good practice ahead of connection applications outlines best-practice information, such as heat maps, that could be made available to all local energy providers looking to connect to the grid.
- Key findings from a call for evidence on the treatment of flexible resources, including storage, in the connections queue. This includes the next steps for how customers and the networks could prioritise and manage certain flexible energy connections.
- Requirements for using real (MW) power services, provides initial definitions and categories for using these services to manage local system constraints.
The UK's energy industry has shown strong support for establishing a smarter, flexible and more decentralised energy system, with close to 50 responses submitted to the recent Open Networks Project Future Worlds consultation. The Project's largest-ever consultation called for industry feedback on five possible options for a future smart grid in the UK.
Independent consultants will review the responses to the Future Worlds consultation over the coming months to inform the impact analysis of the options; the next major stage of the project due to be completed in early 2019. This work will continue to be carried out in partnership with the Project's Advisory Group of senior energy industry stakeholders, which has recently met for the ninth time.
David Smith, chief executive officer, at the ENA, said: "As our energy system changes fundamentally, the Open Networks Project is transforming the way the UK's electricity networks work and unlocking a whole new range of benefits for households and businesses.
"These five major publications mark another step forward in laying the foundations for a smart grid in the UK and establishing flexibility markets, which will promote greater competition in the market and give the public more control over how they use energy.
"We are delighted with the response to the Future World's consultation which demonstrates that there is strong interest in the work being led by the Open Networks Project and industry stakeholders are key to developing this further."
Stew Horne, head of energy networks and systems, Citizens Advice, said: "Today's publications show the continued progress the Open Networks Project is making and it is encouraging to see industry working together. Progress towards a smart energy system is essential and consumers stand to gain significantly from such innovation.
"Consumers should benefit from lower system costs, and some may be able to sell their flexibility as a service. We welcome this development, because consumers both now and in the future will lose out if we simply carry on with a business as usual approach."