Energy networks transformation project moves forwards with new publications demonstrating potential of demand reduction

Date: 01/09/17
Energy Networks Association’s Open Networks project has taken another step forward this week as it formally publishes its latest project outputs, including a report on network innovation trials that show how networks could potentially reduce electricity demand.
Bringing together the UK’s energy networks with respected academics, NGOs, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the energy regulator Ofgem, the Open Networks Project is defining how the UK’s energy network infrastructure will need to change and operate as we head into a new smart era. It will lay the foundations of a smart energy grid in the UK.
The Project’s August outputs include:
• A report on innovation trials related to the interaction between electricity transmission and distribution networks. One of the key findings of the project was that there was a mathematical relationship between voltage and demand and proved that Distribution Network Operators can provide solutions to support National Grid for frequency and demand control, as well as reactive power regulation, without compromising the customers’ quality of supply.
• Maps for current and future customers’ involvement in the networks to understand and to improve their experience of that involvement. These maps, or ‘guides’, will provide customers with all the information they need about the process of getting connected to the network., They will act as a vital new resource as networks seek to provide new commercial opportunities for energy innovators and technology developers to help manage a more flexible grid.
• Plans for energy networks to examine specific charging mechanisms. This includes constraint payments for distributed generation such as wind farms and charging mechanisms for Active Network Management systems, which use software to monitor and control the operation of new energy technologies such as renewable generation and storage.
The latest outputs have been produced in consultation with the Open Networks Advisory Group which includes representatives from a wide range of trade associations, NGOs and academics.
Farina Farrier, Open Networks Project Manager, comments:
“The products we have published this week clearly demonstrate the potential that a smarter electricity grid has to deliver real savings not just through smarter technology but also through smarter network management. They have come about as a result of detailed work by the Project’s workstreams and the input that the Open Networks Advisory Group has provided has been key.”
The Advisory Group met for a third time this week in London. Earlier this month, the Open Networks Project launched a public consultation on its “Promoting Access to Markets for Distributed Energy Resources” paper to ensure that the transformation of a smart electricity grid in the UK creates new routes to market for distributed generation. 
Farina Farrier adds:
“Our current consultation on promoting market access for distributed generation is an exciting opportunity for stakeholders to input into the project and we encourage as many organisations as possible to contribute before it closes at the end of September.”
Notes to editors
• The UK’s largest remaining coal-fired power station is Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station, with a nameplate capacity of 2.1GW.
• The Open Networks Project, led by Energy Networks Association, is a major initiative that is in the process of re-defining how our energy networks will operate in the future as we head into a new smart era.
• The Project brings together the leading minds in the UK energy industry, including all of the UK’s electricity network operators, including National Grid, respected academics, NGOs, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the energy regulator Ofgem. The project is led and facilitated by Energy Networks Association. 
• The Open Networks Advisory Group includes representatives from EnergyUK, RenewableUK, Renewable Energy Association and the Association for Decentralised Energy, as well as representatives from Imperial College, Citizen’s Advice, community energy projects and independent Distribution Network Operators.
• The Advisory Group meetings consist of interactive workshops and act as a means by which the Open Networks Project can receive guidance and input to the direction it is taking, as well as for specific products. The feedback from these sessions will be incorporated into the final products, which will be published on ENA’s website.
• Innovation by our energy networks has already enabled close to £1bn of cost savings that will be delivered between now and 2023, clearly demonstrating the economic potential of smarter networks.
• Energy Networks Association is the voice of the UK’s energy networks, representing the UK’s 15 electricity and gas transmission and distribution network operators.
• ENA members serve over 30 million customers in all corners of the UK, whilst managing £62bn of assets that employ 30,000 people in communities across the country. 
• By 2020 the UK’s energy networks will have delivered £80bn of investment since 1990, whilst reducing costs to the customer by 17%. In the next six years alone they are forecast by Ofgem to deliver £45bn of investment across the UK.
• All publications, including the latest outputs from the Open Networks Project, can be found online here.
• Responses to the Commercial Principles for Contracted Flexibility: Promoting Access to Markets for Distributed Energy Resources should be submitted to [email protected] by 17:00 on 29 September 2017. The paper can be found online here.
For further information contact:
Matthew Pringle
UK & European Communications Manager
Energy Networks Association
[email protected]
T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5118
M: +44 (0) 7792 220 974