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ENA launches new consultation on the future flexible energy market

Image: Andy Beecroft.

Image: Andy Beecroft.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched a new consultation into flexibility, to drive standardisation in local energy markets.

It calls on energy professionals and those outside the industry to comment on how the Open Networks Project could “turbo-charge” the integration of more sustainable energy into the system through flexibility from electric vehicles and domestic batteries amongst other sources.

The ENA highlighted that more than 50% of the UK's electricity coming from low carbon sources is within reach, but to reach this change standardisation and a future framework that is easier to access needs to be brought in.

The consultation follows the release of the ENA’s Distribution System Operation (DSO) implementation Plan, a detailed and interactive roadmap for how network companies can become DSOs in July.

Randolph Brazier, head of innovation at the ENA, said the consultation marked the latest milestone for the Open Networks Project’s three and a half year-long run, giving flexibility providers an opportunity to feedback on network frameworks.

“The standards we’re creating are world-leading; they allow for flexibility providers of all types to more easily offer their services consistently across the country. In doing so they create a competitive marketplace, driving down prices all whilst directly enabling more renewable power to be built-out”.

Last October, the project began Community Energy Forums to discuss how local energy and communities can play a role in develop a decarbonised and flexible energy network. One of 2020’s forums will be held during the current consultation period, to ensure community energy groups are involved.

In July 2019, the ENA’s Open Networks Project launched another consultation, looking into how to simplify flexibility services.

Stephen McMahon, deputy director for Electricity Distribution & Cross Sector Policy at Ofgem added: “Embedding flexibility into our energy system is critical to achieving decarbonising of our energy system at least cost to consumers. Work to standardise, coordinate and otherwise reduce barriers to entry into flexibility markets must remain a high priority for network companies and the ESO.

“It is vital that the Open Networks project is shaped by strong stakeholder input, to help develop robust outputs and prioritise the remaining work.”

The consultation will run until 25 September, for more details visit the ENA website here.

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