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RWE UK chief lays down five-minute settlement challenge to National Grid

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

The head of European utility giant RWE’s UK business Tom Glover has challenged National Grid to slash settlement periods to just five minutes by 2030.

The challenge came within a panel debate on regulatory frameworks at this week’s BNEF Future of Energy Summit in London, where Glover sat on a panel that also included National Grid’s system operator director Fintan Slye.

Currently UK power settlements occur every half hour, however Glover posed the suggestion to Slye, citing how settlement periods in Germany currently stand at 15 minutes with Australia transitioning to five-minute settlement periods.

Glover said that in reducing settlement periods to five minutes, flexibility providers - especially developers of battery storage projects - would be able to determine the value of their service much more accurately and efficiently than they would through participating in flexibility tenders or auctions.

National Grid currently has 27 different flexibility products, but the SO is in the process of simplifying this with Slye stating that he is keen to migrate towards a system where National Grid would have to intervene less often.

Rob Sherwood, head of trading and operations at aggregator Limejump, told Current± that his firm was fully in support of Glover’s view.

"We have long expressed our point of view that the UK power sector must increase the speed of settlements to 5 minutes or faster in order to manage increased flexibility in the market and more widely produce value for these assets.

“We have experienced this within our action in the Balancing Mechanism and feel this could enhance the utilisation of technology assets such as batteries in these markets,” he said.

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