Network operators tender record 6.4GW of capacity

Network operators tendered a record 6.4GW of capacity on Great Britain’s local flexibility markets last year, with 4GW contracted – almost doubling in one year.

The latest figures are a year after ENA’s Open Networks Programme, which created three new works streams – Network Operation, Market Development and Planning & Network Development – as the programme pivoted to making local flexibility markets more accessible to all.

The programme had completed a strategic refresh aimed at enabling closer working with industry, centred on both the co-development and co-delivery of projects.  This approach has helped bring down barriers to market participation, it said, leading to the growth in contracted flexibility.

The figures compiled by ENA, also show that for a second year in a row approximately 75% of the contracted flexibility is made up of low-carbon technologies. This includes stored energy, solar and biofuel.

Local flexibility services are an “important component” of the UK’s decarbonisation journey, the ENA said, by releasing power back to the grid at times of high demand, and storing it during times of lower demand.

Flexibility optimises the use of network capacity and accelerate the connection of more low-carbon technology like wind power, it added.

Dr Avi Aithal, Head of Open Networks at ENA, said:

“This is a great achievement for the UK’s energy networks and it’s a clear testament to their commitment to deliver best value to consumers. Though today’s statistics once again make Great Britain the biggest flexibility market in the world, we are continuing to deliver at pace.

“The support from the industry, governmental departments and Ofgem have been invaluable to the programme and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them and the future Market Facilitator to help the UK meet our decarbonisation goals at the least cost to customers.”

Image from Shutterstock

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