The Energy Networks Association has launched the “Future Worlds” consultation as part of its Open Networks Project to discuss the future of the UK’s energy networks, Utility Week reported.
Decentralised Energy System could offer consumers big savings
The aim of the consultation is to deliver a “smarter, more flexible, and more decentralised energy system”. Research by Imperial College London and the Carbon Trust suggests having smart grid infrastructure in the UK could provide consumers with savings of as much as £40bn by 2050.
Views on five industry models will be sought, each presenting numerous options to help transform the structure of the electricity networks into a smart grid.
These new ‘future worlds’ will need to incorporate pylons, substations, and other traditional forms of infrastructure in the new smart energy flexibility services, and consider new consumer technologies that will impact the electricity grid, such as electric vehicles, smart meters, battery storage, and solar panels.
Stakeholder Workshops to develop Future World
A series of stakeholder workshops will develop future worlds, which will range from a decentralised energy system where regional energy markets will be able to balance supply and demand at a local level through local electricity grids, to a more centralised system that will see the national system operator be responsible for coordinating local energy resources.
The five worlds are:
A – DSO coordinates
B – Coordinated DSO
C – Price driven flexibility
D – ESO coordinates
E – Flexibility coordinator(s)
The ENA’s chief executive, David Smith, commented: “The Open Networks Project is transforming the way our electricity networks work, unlocking a whole new range of benefits for households and businesses across the country.
“These future worlds represent a major change from the way our networks operate today, as they pioneer new ways to decarbonise our energy system to deliver new opportunities and reduced costs for households and businesses across the country.”
Many stakeholders will see significant change and an evolution of their roles as energy moves towards a smarter system. While the ENA’s head of innovation and development, Randolph Brazier, believes that many of these changes will be consistent across the five future worlds, there will also be considerable differences.
“Stakeholder feedback is, therefore, key to this consultation, and we invite stakeholders to give us feedback on how we’ve envisaged their roles in these future worlds, and which would they believe works best for them and consumers.”
The consultation is open until 25 September.
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