ENA seeks feedback on flexible market

The Energy Networks Association’s (ENA) Open Networks Project has been published for consultation, seeking to further drive standardisation in local UK energy markets.

Over half of electricity now comes from low carbon sources and a net-zero system which once seemed an impossibility is now within reach, but the network framework is needed to make the market flexible enough to support higher volumes of renewable power and the electrification of transport and heating.

Usage is changing, with consumers using smart chargers to find the cheapest times to charge their electric vehicles and domestic batteries to store energy generated when demand and prices are low. Demand side response (DSR) schemes are increasingly popular as they reward customers for shifting their energy use to reduce peak demand. The Open Networks flexibility consultation will hopefully help drive these changes further and faster.

Industry viewpoints are vital and bring the energy system closer to the people it serves by identifying barriers to entry, which when overcome will enable new parties to get involved in the market of the future. These parties will include hospitals with on-site generation, stores with refrigeration banks and sites with electric vehicle charge-points, creating new revenue streams for these organisations as well as those already participating in national markets, all while decarbonising the economy and reducing the cost to the consumer.

The flexibility consultation comes off the back of a successful release of the Distribution System Operation (DSO) implementation Plan which details the steps needed for a more efficient locally managed grid. As network companies prepare for DSO, flexibility services will form the bedrock of the new smart grid by making the networks more responsive to shifting energy patterns. The responses to this consultation and Open Networks’ continuing progress on flexibility will underpin the DSO Implementation Plan.

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