ENA Open Networks Project: Work programme consultation response

Published: 22 February 2019

Introduction

Launched in January 2017, ENA’s Open Networks Project is laying the foundations for a smart energy grid in Great Britain and informing future developments in Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is a key initiative to deliver Government policy set out in Ofgem and BEIS’ Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan, the Government’s Industrial Strategy and the Clean Growth Plan.

The Open Networks Project has introduced real momentum into the development work required to enable GB’s energy networks to:

  • facilitate our customers’ transition to a low-carbon future, including the electrification of heat and transport;
  • address the challenges arising from the continued uptake of local generation;
  • evolve to be market enablers for a whole range of new smart energy technologies;
  • reduce costs to customers by contracting for flexibility services alongside investment in traditional and innovative network solutions, and
  • play a key role in delivering overall lowest whole system energy system costs for customers.

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views from stakeholders on three key areas:

  • Flexibility Services
  • Whole Electricity System Planning & T-D Data Exchange
  • Customer Information Provision & Connections

Key points

Energy Systems Catapult response to this consultation by the ENA’s Open Networks Project work programme, includes:

  • We support the creation of a new workstream focused on Whole Energy Systems aspects.
  • We believe sharing insights with other industry initiatives such the Energy Data Taskforce which we run and Electric Vehicle Energy Taskforce which we chair would be critical to drive a coordinated and holistic approach to the low carbon energy transformation.
  • We are willing to explore further collaboration opportunities and potential to support upcoming work under the new whole energy systems workstream.
  • We believe that more focus should be placed on the role of networks in addressing the heat decarbonisation challenge and investigating how local area energy planning can best be used to inform a cost-effective low-carbon heat transition.
  • We believe that consulting with wider public/industry participants on the elements of the work programme would be critical for the success of the transition process.