British gov and Ofgem outlines measures to “drastically” upgrade UK energy system


The British government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the energy regulator have set out how it plans to spur a major upgrade to and modernise the UK energy system.

Future-proofing UK energy networks

In a combined report,‘Upgrading Our Energy System: Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan,’ BEIS and Ofgem outlines measures to which have the potential to “save consumers as much as £40 billion ($52 billion) in energy costs by 2050.”

According to Energy Storage News, BEIS and Ofgem published a major investment programme for battery storage and electric vehicles alongside its report.

Energy Storage News notes that the “Electricity Act 1989 will be amended to include a definition of electricity storage – something the industry has been angling for, for some time, and not just in the UK.

“Both the planning regime and the grid connection process will be assessed and simplified to make it easier for battery storage facilities to be approved and developed. Ofgem will consult in the coming months on a proposed modified generation licence for battery storage, which will remove the final consumption charges storage facilities currently pay – putting an end to so-called ‘double charging”.

It adds: “BEIS and Ofgem will make it clearer which renewable generators can be co-located with retrofit battery storage systems without any impact on subsidy-backed revenue streams currently in place, including the Renewables Obligation (RO), feed-in tariff (FiT) and Contracts for Difference (CfD) schemes.”

Smart homes and smart businesses

The ‘Upgrading Our Energy System: Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan’ also examines how smart homes and businesses can aid UK networks.

BEIS and Ofgem will move to assess potential new standards for EV charging points and smart appliances.

Time of use tariffs will also be explored, on which Ofgem is to soon publish a report on their feasibility, while peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading networks are also of interest, reports Energy Storage News.

Says Juliet Davenport, chief executive of renewable energy utility Good Energy, “This is a fantastic move by government and an exciting moment for the UK’s renewables industry. To deliver the low carbon economy of the future we have to embrace a new, smart energy system and battery technology will be at the heart of that.

“Backing innovation in energy storage, as well as more support for offshore wind projects and electric vehicles, will not only attract investment into the UK, create new jobs and increase export opportunities, it will also make sure we have a healthy and greener economy and environment. The move to a 100% renewable future is possible.”