The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has identified improved transparency, easier participation and improved coordination as key objectives in 2023 for its Open Networks plan.
Identified within the ENA’s Open Networks programme, several tangible goals have been established amongst the members in order to increase the UK’s local flexibility markets for energy.
With the scheme transitioning into its sixth year, Open Networks brings together network companies, Ofgem, UK Government and others in the energy industry to explore how to deliver a smarter, more flexible energy system.
Since 2017, it has delivered more than 350 different products such as tools, reports, methodologies and frameworks. It has supported the growth of flexibility available to the market for tendering, which has grown from 0.1GW to almost 3GW making it the largest in Europe, according to the ENA.
One of the three objectives include making it easier for flexibility service providers to participate in the flexibility market by standardising products, processes and contracts.
Making the scheme more accessible to flexibility service providers could allow further participants and help generate more interest amongst the energy sectors.
Alongside this, the scheme will focus on improving operational coordination between networks and companies to remove barriers to the delivery of flexibility services and improving the transparency of processes, reporting and decision-making.
“It’s been a tremendously exciting time for the programme, as government and the sector have been focused on making flexibility accessible to everyone. This will help the UK meet our net zero goals at the least cost to consumers,” said Dr Avi Aithal, head of open networks at Energy Networks Associations.
“The ambitious work plan, and the public goals we have set ourselves, are a testament to how the programme is accelerating and our intention to deliver practical benefits to customers – I’d encourage everyone in the industry to make 2023 the year they engage with their local flexibility services.”
2022 saw some positive “hits” which have been identified within the Open Networks publication. Strong support for the programme and its outputs. Stakeholders were unanimously in support of ENA’s efforts to deliver the programme, bringing together all the network companies and the ESO.
Alongside this, the ENA stated that there was strong support for the commitment of ENA’s members to deliver the programme. Over 200 subject matter experts from ENA’s member organisations worked on the programme in 2022.
The final factors include a commitment to the DSO model and establishing a world-leading local flexibility market as BaU, with 3.7GW local flexibility tendered in 2021/2022, common information reporting and sharing and respondents also appreciating the transparency of stakeholder engagement efforts.