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Energy Networks Association launches flexibility consultation

In 2021, 3.7GW of distribution network flexibility was tendered. Image: Getty.

In 2021, 3.7GW of distribution network flexibility was tendered. Image: Getty.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched its annual flexibility consultation, as part of its Open Networks project.

Opening yesterday (1 August) the consultation is looking for views into how to further develop the processes that underpin Britain’s flexibility market.

It follows networks tendering a record amount of flexibility over the last year, with figures released by the ENA in July showing that 3.7GW of distribution network flexibility was tendered over the 12 months beforehand.

This marked a 31% increase on last year, and a 76% increase on 2020, and a significant jump from just four years ago, with only 117MW tendered in 2018.

“As our recently announced flexibility figures show, these markets are witnessing year on year growth, proving their value to the energy system,” said Dr Avinash Aithal, technical lead for Open Networks at the ENA.

“With this latest round of consultation, we’re creating more avenues for the industry to engage with us in ways that work for them. We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible so we can continue to deliver the smart, flexible system essential to achieving Net Zero at least cost.”

The consultation will focus on ensuring that the foundations and frameworks of flexibility markets are right, in particular the governance arrangement that networks operate the markets within.

It forms part of the ENA’s Open Networks project, which was launched in 2017, and the first projects within which opened for consultation in 2019.

Since then, the trade association has also set up the Open Networks Challenge Group, which is designed to support participation in flexibility markets from across the industry in an open and transparent manner.

It is independently chaired and has over 21 key representatives from the sector, feeding into the ENA’s development work.

Additionally, the association has set up the Dissemination Forum, to encourage broader engagement with the sector. Using both the Challenge Group and the Forum helps the Open Networks project to get key industry input into the ENA’s development work throughout the year, it noted.

The consultation will run till 12 September 2022, more details can be found here.

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