Future Power Systems Architecture

For the UK to meet carbon reduction targets and achieve clean growth ambitions, the transformation of the energy system needs to consider the integration the physical, digital and market systems.

Energy Systems Catapult in collaboration with the Institution of Engineering and Technology is delivering the Future Power Systems Architecture programme to identify the new capabilities required by the electricity system in 2030.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable requires integrating and optimising solutions and innovations in a rapidly changing sector.

New assets, new services, new risks and most importantly new requirements from customers are all shaping a very different set of opportunities and challenges for the sector.

Decarbonisation is a primary driver of this change. But it is reinforced by the trend towards decentralised energy and the advance of digitalisation. The challenge is to facilitate the transformation of the power system in an efficient and timely way that delivers value to customers.

Our Capability

The Future Power Systems Architecture (FPSA) programme takes a Whole System approach – considering the traditional power system together with the installations, appliances and devices on the customers’ side of the meter  – and how it interacts with other energy vectors – such as transport and heat.

A collaboration between Energy Systems Catapult and The Institution of Engineering and Technology, FPSA is delivered by an independent expert body having extensive technical, commercial, regulatory, digital expertise and experience. It has a strong customer perspective.

Our Approach

FPSA has taken a three phase approach:

1. Firstly, FPSA Phase 1 set out to identify the new functionality that Britain’s power system will need to support widespread energy transformation by 2030. The programme identified 35 new or significantly modified functions, of which the drivers are:

  • The flexibility to meet changing but uncertain requirements
  • The change in mix of electricity generation
  • The use of price signals or other incentives
  • The emergence of new participants
  • The active management of networks, generation, storage and demand
  • The recovery from major outages
  • The need for some coordination across energy vectors.

2. Secondly,  FPSA Phase 2 investigated the barriers to implementation and developed an innovative change and governance approach, designed to deliver the new functionalities in an agile, holistic and inclusive way -called Enabling Frameworks.

3. Thirdly, FPSA Phase 3 added detail to the Phase 2 proposals tested the Enabling Frameworks approach to agile change and governance with a use case focusing on the rapid uptake of Electric Vehicles to ensure it was accessible, flexible and fit for the purpose of coordinating increasingly dynamic disruption in the sector.