28th April 2017 | Posted by: Daniel Birkett | Industry News

A recent report has outlined recommendations on how the UK’s energy framework can be improved.

A new report from Energy UK, the trade association for the UK energy industry states that the nation’s framework needs a reform to ensure systems are; simplified, made more efficient and reflective of the generation mix.

The report outlines a number of recommendations on how the UK’s ancillary services can provide more stability to the electricity network at a cheaper cost to the consumer.

Ancillary services are functions available to the system operator in order to support electricity flow and provide assurances that supply will always meet demand in the UK. These functions occur when electricity trading has ceased (gate closure) and the system operator issues instructions to maintain grid stability. For many years, ancillary services were provided predominantly by transmission connected generation but now use a number of channels as the generation mix has become diverse.  

Over the next few years a combination of economic and environmental factors will result in changes to load factors at large power stations, placing greater importance on these services as the nation strives to meet carbon targets.

A reform would improve flexibility within the electricity system, allowing increased capacity for newer technology, such as distribution energy networks.

UK Energy suggests that the National Grid should consult industry groups, tech developers and the investment community through consultations, webinars and workshops to review the procurement process of ancillary services.

The association has also proposed that it leads a debate on future power market design which includes; the Capacity Market, low carbon support mechanisms and the ancillary services market. It is hoped that extensive debate would identify low-cost options to balance the system without undermining fair competition regulations.

Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said: “This as an opportunity for all industry to work together to develop new, more efficient and economical solutions to balance the network at least cost to consumers while enabling existing and new technology to drive innovation within the sector.”