UK Could Save Billions with Smarter Energy System
The UK could save £40 billion over the next thirty years with a smarter and more flexible energy system. The claim comes from energy watchdog Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Together the two organisations have wrote an open letter to the Energy Networks Association. The letter addressed Energy Networks Association’s Open Networks Project and laid out their view of the amount of progress made.
Open Networks Project
The project is a major energy industry initiative hoping to transform the way the UK’s energy networks work. It is organised by the Energy Network Association and was originally called the TSO-DSO Project before being renamed. Now called the Open Networks Project, the initiative brings together respected academics, NGOs and Government departments. As well as the energy industry regulator Ofgem, also included are nine electricity grid operators from Ireland and the UK.
The project aims to help households and businesses take advantage of new technologies to reduce energy expenditure and lower costs. From a business perspective, the project wants to underpin business growth and attract investment.
Finally the plan entails taking a whole energy system approach to designing solutions. They intend to achieve this by consulting with a wide range of stakeholders, including the gas networks.
Ofgem Keen for Progress to Continue
Both Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) are keen to ensure the project’s progress continues. The letter’s wording emphasises that they want tangible changes to be implemented as soon as possible. It also commends the Open Networks Project for its proactive approach to delivering results. The DBEIS and Ofgem also urge energy networks to evolve in tandem with the decarbonisation and decentralising of electricity production.
Part of the letter reads as follows: “The Future Worlds work has identified critical capabilities and coordination mechanisms that network companies and system operators need to develop, and the impact assessment has offered insights on the trade-offs for how responsibilities for these capabilities could be allocated.
“The Open Networks Project should progress with delivering tangible least regrets actions now – changes that will be needed in any future scenario – and identify the pathway for future development.
“We believe implementation and delivery of the changes referred to in this letter will be a determining factor in achieving a smarter, more efficient electricity system.”
The Ongoing Impact of Future Worlds
The Open Networks Project showcased five potential industry structures last year, collectively known as Future Worlds. They then carried out extensive work to define these five potential industry structures using the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM). With this model they were able to accurately define the information flows necessary for each world to operate realistically.
Now Ofgem and the DBEIS are urging the Open Networks Project to maximise the potential clearly identified by Future Worlds.
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