ENA says simplicity is key to unlocking potential of flexibility

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has called for simplicity when it comes to providing access to flexibility markets.

ENA says simplicity is key to unlocking potential of flexibility

The call comes as the ENA Open Networks Project launches its latest consultation on flexibility services, which will look at how energy network operators across the country can help Britain’s homes, businesses and communities realise the benefits of a smarter, more flexible energy system. That system could help the UK save up to £8bn a year by 2030, National Infrastructure Commission research shows – all whilst helping power it towards its 2050 Net Zero carbon emissions target.

Flexibility service markets, which use smart energy technologies in homes, businesses and communities to provide services back to electricity grid operators, are increasingly being used as a way of increasing the capacity of energy network infrastructure. These markets allow operators to connect more clean energy infrastructure, such as renewable energy projects or electric vehicle charge points, to the grid more quickly.

The consultation follows ENA recently launching its Six Steps for Delivering Flexibility Services commitment which sets out exactly how grid operators will run new ‘flexibility markets’ across the country.

The ENA is seeking views on further detail on how the six steps in the Flexibility Commitment can be developed further, diving into the detail of the principles that will enable flexibility markets, good practice for procurement and its approach to standardising contracts for flexibility.

The principles include:

  • Neutral market facilitation
  • Market boundaries
  • Transparency, visibility and privacy
  • Rights and obligations
  • Interoperability of solutions and
  • Coordination and information exchange.

David Smith, chief executive of the ENA, said: “Today’s consultation makes a fundamental point about the way in which we need to build a smarter, more flexible energy system – simpler is better. Ease of access to flexibility markets for the widest possible range of people has to be right at the top of the agenda.

“That’s key so that Britain’s energy networks can access the deepest, most liquid flexibility markets possible to help connect more clean energy technologies to the grid at the lowest possible cost to the public, all whilst creating an environment that fosters the kind of smart energy innovation that Britain has become known for the world over.”

The consultation will also focus on end-to-end processes when procuring flexibility services, as well as DSO Services Commercial Arrangements. These processes will look across all DNOs and all licence areas to find the simplest way for customers to contract for flexibility. This work will continue into 2020, but networks are always looking to break down barriers to accessing markets, and are implementing short term changes, as well as thinking long term about the roles and responsibilities of Britain’s distribution network operators.


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