Energy networks

Editor's picks

Concerns have been raised over the deliberate wasting of energy to provide flexibility after load banks – devices for creating dummy loads to test power supplies such as backup generators – were accepted into an ad hoc service to increase demand on the power grid. The load banks were entered into the Optional Downward Flexibility Management service introduced by National Grid Electricity System Operator as an emergency measure to deal with low demand on the power grid over the summer of 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
News
Ofgem has paused its plans to expose smaller distributed generators to forward-looking transmission network charges after receiving opposition from a “large majority” of the respondents to its consultation on the proposals. However, the regulator said it continues to hold the view that “smaller generators should pay charges equivalent to larger generators where they have an equivalent impact on the network.”
News
One of the backers of a controversial plan for a new interconnector between France and the UK has threatened legal action within weeks against Kwasi Kwarteng’s decision to block the project. Alexander Temerko, an ex-head of Russian oil company Yukos and director of Aquind since 2016, also threatened legal action against trade minister Penny Mordaunt, who has been one of the leaders of the campaign against the cable that would come ashore in Portsmouth in her capacity as a local MP.
News

Featured

To achieve their ambitious decarbonisation targets, local authorities must get to grips with a complex and evolving energy system. But, as UK100 chief executive Polly Billington argues, the energy sector must also do its part in seeking to understand the needs and the capabilities of local government. She talks to Lucinda Dann about how the sector is doing so far and why local area energy planning must happen with councils, rather than to them.
Interviews
Business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has said networks’ response to storm must improve, describing power cuts of longer than three days as “unacceptable.” Appearing before the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee to answer questions about November’s Storm Arwen, which left some households without power for more than a week, the minister also rejected a suggestion that networks’ resilience to such events should have been stress tested by Ofgem.
News
The Energy Networks Associations has set out its plans for its Open Networks project in 2022, which will continue to focus on heavily standardising and coordinating flexibility services. The ENA said the industry initiative, which was launched in 2017 to accelerate the transition to a smart, flexible energy system, has enabled the UK to establish “world leading” local flexibility markets, with contracts for more than 3GW of flexibility being made available for tender in Great Britain last year.
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Latest in Energy networks

The introduction of a carbon floor price this month was based on assumptions that have been discredited. Jose Ruiz calls for a rethink
Comment
The UK energy market must fit within an EU-wide framework being developed in parallel - that means EMR will not be the last word, says Janet Wood
News
Uptake of Green Deal funding for microgeneration will challenge power networks, but they are ready for it. Liz Sidebotham feeds back from the Customer-Led Network Revolution trials
Opinion
The UK is well ahead of the energy efficiency demands due to be placed on it by Brussels next year, reports Robert Stokes
News
"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story." It's an old, if irreverent, adage in journalism, which parts of the national media took to heart in their coverage of the gas markets this week. It began with warnings that Britain has only two days' worth of gas left in reserve - which is correct, as far as it goes, but ignores the fact that the country has taken a strategic decision not to rely on gas storage. This is because of its proximity to the North Sea - the mother of all gas storage fields, you might say. Comparisons with other European nations, which can't rely on the North Sea and have built vast gas reserves over decades, are therefore irrelevant and misleading. There's a valid argument that Britain should increase its gas storage over coming years as its energy mix changes, but that doesn't equate to any risk of the lights going out under the current arrangements.
Comment
The latest Roc bands strongly favour coal-to-biomass conversion over new dedicated biomass plant. Richard Bowen analyses the decision
News
Centrica has signed a long-term deal to import LNG from America. It announced the move amid fears of a supply shortfall, days after the UK gas spot price hit a record high.
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