Review of Future Power System Architecture (FPSA) Functions

Published: 9 July 2019

The Future Power System Architecture (FPSA) programme was undertaken by Energy Systems Catapult and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (2015 to 2018) to identify the additional capabilities, or Functions, that the power system will need by 2030 to meet the anticipated challenges that it could face.

This work identified and defined 35 Functions that will need to be implemented. The Functions are either entirely new or are significantly extended from functionality which exists in some form today.

This report details work that has been carried out in reviewing the required additional functionality and exploring further the real-world imperative to implement them. The aim of this work was to identify priorities for the development of the functions using two approaches:

  1. To identify specific energy sector government objectives and their timescales, and link them to the FPSA Functions that, when realised, will enable them to be met.
  2. To identify those functions that will be particularly challenging to implement due to uncertainty about the form that the solution will take, and so could become the “missing links” in delivering the functions.

This approach enables work to be prioritised on the basis of when the function will be needed and the perceived solution uncertainty.

Key points

The key conclusions of this project were:

  • Functions can be directly linked to Government Decarbonisation Objectives, the timescales of which highlight the urgency of Function implementation where non-delivery would be likely to result in those objectives not being met.
  • The Functions are highly interdependent. Each Function must be developed and implemented alongside many, sometimes all, other Functions in order to be successful.
  • Functions have varying levels of solution uncertainty which needs to be resolved before the solution can be planned. The interaction between Functions means that uncertainty on a subset of Functions impacts the planning and delivery of all Functions.
  • It is important to scope and understand the uncertain Functions early, as only then can the 35 Functions be planned and the work to implement them be understood.

A list of functions that need to be prioritised can be created by identifying those functions that are both required for a shorter term government objective and have a high degree of solution uncertainty.