Ofgem publishes next steps in network charging reform

Last week Ofgem published its “minded to” decision on electricity network charging reform as part of its Targeted Charging Review (“TCR”) into the way in which residual transmission charges are recovered from consumers, and on certain “embedded benefits”: Charges for using the electricity network have two elements: Forward looking charges that are designed to ensure…

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UKPN to test new voltage stabilisation technology

The challenges posed to electricity grids by adding increasing amounts of intermittent renewable generation are well known, and costly to manage, however a Scottish technology company claims to have the answer. Faraday Grid, believes it can massively increase grid capacity to carry renewables at no additional cost, while solving network volatility. The company has developed…

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Opening access to the Balancing Mechanism for smaller aggregated assets

National Grid recently published a roadmap to widening access to the Balancing Mechanism to smaller, distributed assets and demand-side response. The increasing de-centralisation of the electricity system, along with the growth in intermittent generation, is making the task of balancing the system more challenging (and expensive). As the amount of flexible, dispatchable generation on the…

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Ofgem’s new consultation on network charging and access is an important step towards market reform

Ofgem has published the latest strand in its ongoing work on making network charging arrangements fit for purpose against a backdrop of significant changes to the nature and use of both transmission and distribution networks. It has issued a consultation into network access arrangements and forward-looking charges, and whether a Significant Code Review (“SCR”) should…

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Relying on interconnectors for security of supply carries risks

Last week Will Gardiner, chief executive of Drax Group, told the Guardian newspaper that Britain’s increasing reliance on electricity imports through the use of interconnectors is a threat to energy security, and will result in the country importing carbon emissions. He also said that interconnectors would fail to deliver the aims of the government’s industrial…

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Market coupling failures undermine the Internal Energy Market

There are two main pillars to European energy policy: the internal energy market (“IEM”) and the Climate Change Package. The IEM was the result of extending the Single Market into energy, and involved the unbundling of networks from generation and supply with regulated rather than negotiated access to those networks. The ultimate goal is the…

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RIIO-2: Ofgem consults on tougher price controls for networks

Last week Ofgem has published its consultation for the next round of price controls for energy networks, known as RIIO-2. RIIO-1 had been strongly criticised for allowing network companies to generate above average levels of returns on businesses that are seen to be less risky than the wider economy. Network companies have been earning returns…

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Political dispute in the Balkans causes electricity system frequency deviation across Europe

I have written several times about the challenges facing system operators as the energy transition sees increasing amounts of intermittent generation increasing frequency variation. However, between mid-January and early March, there was a persistent frequency deviation that caused clocks to lose time across the 25 countries connected to central Europe’s synchronous electricity system that had…

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