National Grid proposals could fast-track energy revolution

Following the recent release of National Grid’s ‘System Needs and Product Strategy’ consultation, Head of Markets Bozhidar Bozhkov, explains why this is good news for the future energy system.

The UK is currently experiencing a transition period as our fossil fuel dependence shifts increasingly towards renewable energy.

While this is great news for decarbonisation, it has created unprecedented challenges for National Grid to balance the system and fully utilise all the renewable generation available.

The solution, which SmartestEnergy and other aggregators have long been calling for, is to better integrate demand response and storage into the system.

To address these issues, National Grid has recently released their ‘System Needs and Product Strategy’ consultation.

The document outlines plans to remove any outdated services, reduce the number, simplify the remaining balancing products and improve the transparency of the market.

These improvements of the balancing services would allow for more renewable to join the Grid supply.

In addition, National Grid is exploring how they may be able to procure additional residual capacity closer to real time, to balance the system when the previously tendered and accepted capacity is not enough to meet the current need.

However, we believe there are still some issues that the National Grid have not addressed which need to be resolved if we are to maximise this new approach:

• Battery storage needs to be defined separately so it is not treated as both generation and demand

• Transparency of the changes that are being made will need to be guaranteed to avoid any confusion and ensure a smooth transition to the new system

• Flexibility in the duration of supply and response time should be considered as renewable energy technologies are all very different and often cannot simply switch off and on

A simplified, more transparent and more in-tune system will allow the National Grid to take advantage of the plentiful renewable energy that is currently available, as well as tapping into the appetite from businesses and investors to embrace demand response and storage.

We will be taking part in the consultation process which ends on the 18th of July.