Findings of ENA’s Future Worlds consultation revealed

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has revealed the findings of a consultation that explored five proposed models for the future operation of the electricity system.

Findings of ENA’s Future Worlds consultation revealed

According to the findings in the ENA’s impact assessment consultation, there is strong agreement to build closer coordination between distribution system operators (DSO) and the electricity system operator (ESO) – World B.

The response to the Future Worlds Impact Assessment follows the release and consultation on the independent report earlier this year on the five potential scenarios to deliver Britain’s smart grid or ‘Internet of Energy’.

You can read more about all five future world models here.

The ENA says that closer coordination between DSOs and the ESO is a vital first step to deliver a smart grid at the best value for the public. This will build on and enhance the flexibility commitments recently made by the networks for delivering flexibility services.

With over 30 responses, 84% of non-network respondents agreed that DSO-ESO coordination of procurement and dispatch was the best place to start this vital transition.

Respondents also agreed that price signals would also be a core part of any future electricity system developments.

Earlier this week, Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) called on the group to take ambitious steps to deliver tangible improvements to the energy networks.

The letter to the ENA outlines the progress made so far and encourages the industry group to take ambitious steps to deliver tangible improvements to the energy networks.

It provides clear objectives for progress on smart energy networks, and the notes specific improvements Ofgem and BEIS expect of industry.

ENA’s Open Networks Project has been driving the coordination and standardisation of Britain’s electricity networks, creating a closer working relationship between DSO and ESO. The responses to the Impact Assessment lend momentum to the networks’ already ongoing efforts to continue improving the energy system.

According to the ENA, the government’s Net Zero target is another opportunity for the networks to work with the whole energy industry, the regulator and the government to create the right regulatory conditions to bring about this transformation and help reach this ambitious goal.

David Smith, chief executive of the Energy Networks Association, said: “I am delighted with the interest we have had from so many organisations in the development of a smart network. I am also encouraged to see such strong agreement in the way we need to take this forward and deliver a low carbon, low cost network for the public. In consultation with partners, we are taking the right initial step forward, giving the industry a strong foundation to build on which is also adaptable to new lessons and thinking in future.

“The Open Networks Project is driving forward the changes to the networks that will bring about a dynamic smart grid, bringing wide reaching benefits for homes, businesses and communities. The proactive work of the networks in opening up emerging markets means the benefits of the future system are already being realised.”

In their open letter to the ENA, Ofgem director for energy systems transition, Frances Warburton, and BEIS director for energy security, networks and markets, Dan Monzani, said the Future Worlds consultation had identified “critical capabilities and coordination mechanisms that network companies and system operators need to develop”.

But they said networks operators must now set out a “clear plan with ambitious timelines” for delivering the “tangible least regrets actions” that will be required across all five scenarios.

You can read the full letter here.


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