FPSA2 calls on Government to act with industry to facilitate the transformation of the power sector

Published: 27 June 2017

The second phase of the Future Power System Architecture project (FPSA2) is unveiling its findings and recommendations at an event with over 200 delegates today (23rd June 2017). The programme is calling on the UK government to act with industry to facilitate the transformative development of the power sector.

Consulting widely with the established industry and with emerging stakeholders, FPSA2 has identified a key role for Government in facilitating the transformation of the frameworks that underpin the power sector. These frameworks encompass governance, regulation, commercial structures and societal acceptance, which are significant challenges of considerable complexity and some urgency.

Commissioned by Innovate UK, FPSA2 was delivered through a collaboration between the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Energy Systems Catapult. The project team has worked across the industry to create concepts and processes to transform the system architecture for the whole electricity system in Great Britain and to advance the implementation of this architecture. The project aims to transform the electricity system to respond to national decarbonisation challenges by 2030 and enable the energy customers to take full advantage of new opportunities.

Dr Simon Harrison, Chair of the FPSA Project Delivery Board and the IET Energy Policy Panel said: “The industry is changing significantly and now embraces not only the established power sector parties but also a host of new players operating in the customer and community space. Importantly this includes customers themselves becoming active participants in energy, through the choices they make, enabled by Apps, smart meters, automation and intelligent appliances.

“Without the necessary co-ordination, there is a real risk that these developments will have adverse impacts on the power system, leading to lost whole-system opportunities, and potential incompatibilities in the way that technology is implemented and the way that markets operate.

“There is currently no shared vision or even shared understanding of how to bring all the elements together in a way that addresses whole-system issues and is efficient, effective, secure and reliable. All parties, including customer representatives, now need to come together as a whole to create that vision and, with the catalyst of Government, put in place the mechanisms that will make it a reality.”

Eric Brown, Head of Innovation at the Energy Systems Catapult commented:

“New customer demands and novel business models are adding to the pace of change, for example bringing forward community energy enterprises, new opportunities for Industrial and Commercial parties, connected homes and smart electric vehicle charging.

“New energy solutions, including cross-vector developments in the future, depend upon the contribution of researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs; the framework changes identified by FPSA are key to enabling these parties to engage with the sector to deliver and deploy new thinking, not just in demonstrations, but importantly at scale.”

The programme is now making a clear ‘Call for Action’ – the advice and views from many parties have been very helpful, but now is the time for active participation if the complex challenges ahead are to be resolved successfully. There are a number of complementary projects and initiatives running in the sector, which are largely aligned with FPSA, and the next stages of the programme will seek to clarify boundaries, avoid duplicated effort, and ensure development of shared thinking.

A copy of the reports from FPSA2 can be viewed and downloaded from the IET website or our Publications page.