Britain’s network operators have agreed to embrace flexibility providers when seeking solutions for grid issues under a landmark new ‘Flexibility Commitment’.
Coordinated by the Energy Networks Association (ENA), the Flexibility Commitment will see distribution network operators open up requirements for new network infrastructure to include flexibility service providers in their day-to-day operations.
When faced by grid congestions issues arising as a result of increased electricity demand or higher penetration of renewables, network operators have now committed to comparing the cost of smart technologies, such as renewable generation, demand-side response and energy efficiency, against that of more traditional energy infrastructure.
The ENA said the move would help to open up new opportunities for emerging energy technologies to compete with the likes of traditional transformers and substations, and forms part of a much wider “digital transformation” of energy networks.
In addition, the commitment will also see DNOs work alongside Ofgem to ensure that financial incentives included within the forthcoming RIIO-2 framework align with a more significant adoption of flexibility services.
David Smith, chief executive at the ENA, said: “Like so many other parts of our world right now, the public is starting to see that their energy system is undergoing an important digital transformation. Our energy networks are committed to operating an efficient, smart, clean energy system that is fit for the British public.
“Our commitment will enable new energy markets across the country, creating new opportunities for people to further benefit from the latest smart technologies being used in their homes and businesses. That’s good for the public, good for the system and good for our decarbonisation goals.”