Flexibility record set in GB

Flexibility record set in GB
Image: 123rf

Britain’s electricity network companies tendered a record 4.6GW of capacity on local flexibility markets last year, with 1.9GW contracted, the Energy Networks Association (ENA) has reported.

The ENA states its figures show that more than 70% of the contracted capacity is made up of low-carbon technologies, including stored energy accounting for about one-third, solar and water.

It is also the highest amount of the service tendered in Great Britain.

Compared with 2021-2022, the 2022-2023 year was 1GW up on tendered flexibility, although only marginally up on the contracted.

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Moreover, the current year is on track to record similarly high levels at around 4.6GW of tendered flexibility, with 2.4GW contracted.

Dr Avi Aithal, Head of Open Networks at the ENA, said these statistics show just how far flexibility has come.

“We believe these figures make Great Britain one of the biggest flexibility markets in the world. But today’s success is history tomorrow, so we need to keep pushing on and maximising flexibility across the networks.”

The figures indicate that of the network operators, UK Power Networks was the most active in terms of flexibility connections in the year.

Alongside the release of the figures, the ENA reports launching a new framework and benchmarking to give market participants greater visibility on the implementation of the ‘Open networks’ programme to deliver a standardised flexibility market and to provide greater transparency and highlight progress.

Current key focuses of the programme, now in its sixth year, are on making it easier for service providers to participate by standardising products and processes, improving the operational coordination between networks and companies and improving the transparency of processes, reporting and decision-making.

The Piclo Flex platform has emerged as the flexibility service procurement platform of choice in Britain, now being used by four of the six leading network operators – UK Power Networks, Electricity North West, SP Energy Networks and Northern Powergrid – as well as the TSO the Electricity System Operator (ESO).