Is it time to look differently at security of supply?

National Grid’s outlook for the coming winter is somewhat more positive in capacity terms than in previous winters, with a capacity margin of 6.2 GW or 10.3%. “We are confident that we have the right products and strategy in place to help us to balance the system, even under colder conditions than we have experienced…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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