ElectraLink and REA launch partnership to champion a decentralised electricity system

Posted: 4 April, 2019. By Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown

ElectraLink and the Renewable Energy Association (REA) are delighted to announce a new partnership which will culminate in a report and conference on Thursday, 12th September 2019 at the offices of BCLP LLP.

A market in flux

Smart Power, a major report and piece of analytical modeling commissioned by the National Infrastructure Commission, was released to the public on 4 March 2016. The report was a milestone in the process of quantifying, justifying, and legitimising a future power system that is radically more decentralised, flexible and decarbonised. Smart Power revealed that the UK can save £8 billion a year by 2030 by supporting greater interconnection, storage and demand flexibility. Building a smarter power system, the report suggests, is good for UK PLC and businesses, and can deliver savings to the public at large with data underpinning this transition.

Since Smart Power’s launch, oil majors have bought aggregators, automotive manufacturers have become solar developers and ‘subsidy-free’ renewables deployment has gone from promise to reality. Now with nearly a million domestic and commercial solar installations, a rapidly developing energy storage sector and a boom in corporate and consumer purchase of renewable power, the UK energy sector is about to start a new chapter on how power is generated and consumed. Great change is expected in the decade to come, with many anticipating rapid electric vehicle deployment and much of the existing stock of large, centralised power generation capacity due to come offline.

Building the Flexible Power Report

Whilst Smart Power has made a major contribution to the UK debate and has drawn a line in the sand as to what we can achieve, for many the road still appears fraught and uncertain.

Part of the purpose of the REA and ElectraLink partnership is to produce and launch Flexible Power – a new document that will use ElectraLink’s dataset under its Energy Market Data Hub, together with REA expertise, to understand the electricity system’s changes to date and chart a course for the next decade.

The report will build on the skill demonstrated in the outcomes of ElectraLink’s LCT Detection Project which used advanced analytics to identify indications of 15,000 previously unknown solar PV and electric vehicle charging installations on the Western Power Distribution network.

Flexible Power also assists in drawing a roadmap, based on industry experience, about how we can achieve our common goal of £8bn per year in savings. This document is the first in a series of reports and is split into three parts, focusing on trends in:

  • renewable power supply,
  • activity behind the meter for homes and businesses, and
  • grid-scale changes on electricity distribution networks.

Each chapter in the report will reflect on what we know about market changes to date, outline barriers to growth at present and incorporate a vision for development of the market to 2030.

In addition to employing real-world data provided by ElectraLink, along with the internal expertise of the REA team, we have enlisted the support of senior market experts such as Robert Hull, who for ten years served as Managing Director at Ofgem.

Flexible Power will be launched on Thursday, 12th September 2019 and will be accompanied by a half-day conference at the offices of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in London.

Conference and launch

A half-day conference and networking reception on Thursday 12th September 2019 will coincide with the launch of this report. Further details are available on the REA website here.

The conference will feature three panels, on renewable power supply, on developments behind the meter (commercial and industrial), and standalone grid-connected or co-located.

Once published, the report will be freely available to the public.

Registrations will go live shortly. Discounts will be available to members of the REA. The event and drinks reception is kindly hosted by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner at their beautiful offices at Adelaide House, London Bridge, London EC4R 9HA.

Get involved

If you are a manufacturer, developer, operator or another UK energy market participant aligned with the flexibility movement who would be interested in contributing a case study to, or sponsoring a chapter of, this report, please email the REA’s Head of Events, Marketing, and Membership Lindsay Barnett.

With other questions please email Daniel Brown, Policy Manager at the REA.

You can follow the conversation about this partnership on social media – #FlexiblePowerUK

About ElectraLink

ElectraLink is a central body regulated by Ofgem at the heart of the UK energy market. We are owned by the DNOs and are responsible for operating the Data Transfer Service that underpins the UK energy market and we ensure that this solution remains secure, low cost and facilitates vibrant competition. Our management of the DTS provides us with unique access to a wealth of energy market data which allows us, with the permission of the users of the DTS, to support industry to develop solutions, facilitate innovation and reduce costs to consumers.

ElectraLink also provides expertise to several energy industry codes which set the ‘rules’ for the gas and electricity markets. Our reputation for impartiality and energy market expertise makes us an ideal partner in the implementation and change management of energy market governance arrangements. ElectraLink is the bridge that underpins the utility market and plays a key role in the transition to a smarter, more flexible energy network.

About the REA

The REA is the UK’s largest trade association for renewable energy and clean technologies. As a non-profit organisation representing over 500 companies operating in technologies such as solar, energy storage, grid management and electric vehicle charging, and with nearly two decades of experience in advocating for decarbonisation and green growth, it is well suited to offer input and expertise about this historic market change.