Smart electricity markets and power grids – policy priorities and next steps on Friday 3rd September 2021 

This conference will examine next steps and policy priorities for smart electricity markets and power grids in the UK.

The agenda is structured to bring out latest thinking on:

  • infrastructure priorities for enabling the smart energy transition
  • next steps for the use of smart data and priorities for the Energy Data Strategy due later this year
  • regulatory priorities to encourage innovation and enable adoption
  • developing smart energy markets for consumers and suppliers

The conference will also be an opportunity to discuss a range of policy developments affecting key stakeholders, including:

  • the Energy White Paper:
    • outlining the Government’s long-term strategy for developing the energy system
    • with consultations due for publication this year that are relevant to smart electricity
  • a new Smart Systems Plan being published in 2021:
    • expected to address emerging challenges and priorities for meeting new net-zero commitments
    • building on the foundations of the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan
  • the UK’s first Energy Data Strategy – which aims to develop a clear vision for how the data provided by different energy technologies in the UK can be harnessed and used to improve efficiencies and smart-led solutions

We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session on the long-term policy needs for smart energy development from Emily Revess, Head of Strategic Delivery, Smart Energy, BEIS; as well as a session on the establishment of a successful regulatory framework with Jason Mann, Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting.

There will be further contributions from Laura Sandys, Former Chair, Government’s Energy Data Taskforce and Chair, Challenging Ideas; and Dr Chris Pateman-Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Connected Kerb; as well as from ElectraLink; E.ON; National Grid ESO; Smart DCC; and UK Power Networks.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; Defra; DIT; the Department for the Economy, NI; DfT; the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment, ROI; the Government Legal Department; HSE; the NAO; the Office for Product Safety and Standards; The Scottish Government; the UK Space Agency; and the Welsh Government – as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons Library and the House of Lords.

The agenda: [taking place online – further details]

A scan of relevant developments: [back to the agenda]

  • the Energy White Paper – outlining the Government’s long-term strategy for developing the energy system:
    • setting out goals around preparing the sector for net-zero, commercialising new technology, and transitioning the system to a smart and digital energy network
    • with plans for:
      • a call for evidence on next steps for reinforcing fairness and marketplace value for consumers, and consulting with Government, industry, and consumer groups
      • a review into market frameworks, reducing barriers to innovative and smart energy solutions, and boosting consumer choice and market competition
      • consultation on the scope for increasing regulation around third-party brokers and energy comparison sites that operate within the digital energy space
      • a review on designing tariffs that are flexible and more consumer conscious, including options for opt-in and opt-out auto tariff switching – with a consultation on design proposals for automatic switching recently published
  • the Smart Systems Plan:
    • outlined in the Energy White Paper and expected to be published later this year
    • the plan builds off the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan published in 2017, and aims to establish further measures for reaching goals around:
      • electricity market flexibility
      • monitoring progress on barriers to technological, household, and market upgrades for smart systems
  • the UK’s first Energy Data Strategy – expected to be published later this year:
    • the strategy is aimed at providing a clear vision for how data provided by different energy technologies can be harnessed and used across markets and infrastructure to improve efficiencies and smart-led solutions
  • the Energy Networks Codes Review:
    • currently being conducted by the Government and Ofgem
    • the Review is looking at how reform to code frameworks can increase simplification and reduce barriers to entry for suppliers, market stakeholders, and smart services
  • RIIO-2 Determinations for Electricity Systems – with this price control period established up to 2026, projects earmarked for investment include:
    • the modernisation of network infrastructure for smart technology
    • the integration of clean energy
    • lowering consumer bills through lower regulated electricity fees
  • Proposals for a Future System Operator (FCO) role – a consultation jointly run by BEIS and Ofgem looking at proposals for establishing an FCO, intended to:
    • widen responsibilities across gas and electricity
    • boost strategic planning
    • give more duties for grid modernisation to an FCO
  • Government consultation on improving the smart meter data offer for non-domestic energy consumers – the consultation opened on 5th July and will close on 24th September 

Key areas for discussion: [back to the agenda]

Next steps for developing a stable and effective policy framework for smart energy

policy priorities – assessing what is needed for long-term policy ambitions to support industry stakeholders in the transition

  • the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan – evaluating progress on key parts of the plan and assessing what is needed to maximise the value of the forthcoming Smart Systems Plan, including:
    • priorities for objectives that still have not been met
    • options for overcoming practical barriers to delivery
    • looking at how new policy design can capture smart energy benefits and opportunities
  • overcoming obstacles – identifying challenges to smart system development and how they can be overcome, including:
    • ensuring networks become technologically agnostic
    • maximising the potential of all grid-connected energy stakeholders
    • priorities for facing net-zero goals through digitised system management
  • priorities for regulation – assessing what is needed to support smart-led energy innovation, such as:
    • modernising code and legislative rules
    • enabling market entry for new business models
    • tackling cost and charging rates that inhibit smart service expansion

Smart energy markets in the UK enabling smart and modern benefits for consumers and services

 smart-led energy retail – priorities for fine-tuning market arrangements, as well as:

    • delivering effective reform to supplier licensing rules
    • enabling market competition and service innovation
    • next steps for translating smart-enabled efficiency into lower consumer costs
  • smart energy tariffs – identifying opportunities they present for greater consumer benefits, including:
    • pairing with household smart technologies
    • aligning choice with changing consumer behaviours
    • exploring any further measures that might be needed for making switching easier
  • smart households – priorities for enabling smart households to benefit increasingly from a digital energy system, looking at:
    • options for making generation and non-generation asset holders prosumers
    • further unlocking revenue and cost-saving features for network-connected households

Priorities for delivering whole-system change to the energy system

  • infrastructure – looking at what is needed for improving infrastructure and system operations through smart data usage
  • grid modernisation – next steps for making power networks an enabler for smart energy, such as:
    • reducing barriers to grid connection
    • assessing the scope for utilising data for energy forecasting and addressing grid constraints
  • overcoming challenges – how best to tackle obstacles to balancing intermittent renewables, looking at options for:
    • grid management at a local level
    • simplifying connection rules
    • improving system efficiency through weather mapping
  • network flexibility – maximising the potential of network flexibility and capabilities for grid balancing through:
    • enhancing the use of Demand Side Response across energy industry stakeholders
    • smoothing over whole-system capacity management
    • optimising services through energy data

If you are interested in joining the conference, please [Book Online]

Policy officials attending:

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