Fast Track to Britain’s Future Power System

image

The Future Power System Architecture (FPSA) programme is recommending more agile change and governance for the UK power system to ensure it is accessible, flexible and fit for the purpose of coordinating increasingly dynamic disruption in the sector.

FPSA will reveal its Phase 3 work and recommendations at an event in London on 27th November.

Key recommendations include:

  • A more agile change and governance approach is needed for the UK power system to ensure it is accessible, flexible and fit for the purpose of coordinating increasingly dynamic disruption in the sector.
  • The Enabling Frameworks approach, developed by the FPSA programme, could provide the basis for more agile change and governance.
  • The IET and ESC should work with BEIS, Ofgem and other stakeholders, and through energy sector initiatives, to explore how agile change could be integrated within the overall governance of the sector. 

The Future Power System Architecture programme, a collaboration between Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), has completed Phase 3 of its work.

The debate about the future of Great Britain’s energy infrastructure is at an important stage. Dieter Helm’s “Cost of Energy Review” raised many important questions, including in relation to the way in which the power sector is currently regulated.

This theme is also being explored by the National Infrastructure Commission through its examination of the regulation of the UK’s energy, telecoms and water industries.  This was called for by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ensure there is sufficient investment and innovation in these sectors to keep these critical services affordable for everyone.

Rob Saunders, Interim Challenge Director of Prospering from the Energy Revolution at Innovate UK, said: “The Cost of Energy Review and the regulation review currently underway in the National Infrastructure Commission, are two important examples of studies considering the challenges and opportunities presented by energy system transformation.

“Earlier studies such as the CMA’s “Energy Markets Investigation” have also provided important findings.  The FPSA programme’s Phase 3 outputs like FPSA will bring new insight to the debate about how the sector could approach the transition to deliver faster change with more positive outcomes.”

The world of energy is in a period of rapid change.  The dynamic transformation of electricity is well under way. The trend towards decentralised energy, the advance of digital technologies and greater customer engagement is creating a ‘perfect storm’ for the transformation of our power system.

The FPSA programme is addressing this challenge. It is exploring ways to facilitate this transformation in an efficient and timely way that delivers value to customers. This requires a Whole System approach which, once proven in the power sector, should embrace all the energy vectors.

Simon Harrison, Chair of the FPSA Project Delivery Board and the IET Energy Policy Panel, said: “The FPSA programme initially approached the challenges faced by the power sector from a technical standpoint.

“It sought assurance that the integrity and security of the power system can be maintained through the transformation to a low carbon future.

“This work raised important questions about the governance arrangements that manage change and the way in which customers can benefit from this transformation. Further work is urgently required and the IET and ESC are well prepared to make valuable contributions.”

Eric Brown, Innovation Director at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “We’re encouraged by the statements that Greg Clark has made in his speech on the need to address matters of governance, the need to review codes and the role of digitalisation as we transform the UK energy system.

“We agree with the view he expresses that the transformation represents a huge challenge but also presents a tremendous opportunity for the UK.”

Other key findings include:

  • An industry-wide consensus should be established on the need for and meaning of Whole System thinking. 
  • The IET and ESC should act as a catalyst for the urgent development and delivery of the thirty-five power system functions identified in FPSA Phase 1 work.

About the Future Power Systems Architecture programme

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

The FPSA programme has published reports of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of its work and has today published a report of its Phase 3 work, “Fast Track to Britain’s Future Power System”, together with a summary report.  This work will be presented on 27 November at the “Fast Track to Britain’s Future Power System” dissemination event referred to above.