Incremental balancing services reform announced – more is to come

Last week, National Grid announced a rationalisation of its frequency response balancing services as part of its wider review of the needs of the electricity system. As the electricity system becomes more decentralised with an increasing contribution from intermittent sources of generation, the traditional methods of balancing the system and controlling system frequency are increasingly…

Read More

Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to manage the electricity grids of the future

Existing power grids were designed to transmit electricity over relatively short distances, however, increasingly grids are required to supply major cities from remote offshore wind farms at the same time as integrating local generation. With generators feeding variable amounts of energy from renewable sources into the grid at all voltage levels, it is more difficult…

Read More

RIIO reform: current regime too generous to network companies

On the 12th July, Ofgem issued an open letter launching the process for establishing the next round of price controls, known as “RIIO-2”, for the GB gas and electricity systems. These price controls determine the amount of allowable expenditure for network companies (which includes owners and operators of the transmission and distribution networks) and the…

Read More

Transmission charging: an out-dated cost-recovery framework distorts the market

Transmission charging is far from simple even in the traditional model of electricity networks, as illustrated by the diagram below. In principle, the costs of bringing electricity from large units of generation to consumers is socialised across users via three main tariffs: Transmission Use of System Charges (“TNUoS”), Balancing Services Use of System Charges (“BSUoS”) and…

Read More

National Grid skirts calls for an independent system operator…for now

Last summer the House of Commons Energy and Climate Committee raised questions about the conflicts of interest inherent in National Grid’s role as the electricity system operator and recommended that the government should create an independent SO to mitigate these concerns (described in my previous blog post here). Not surprisingly, National Grid was opposed to…

Read More