While flexibility is essential in order to integrate intermittent renewables into the grid, a “significant proportion” of what’s necessary already exists and has been connected, Ofgem says. There is a risk that the sector will lock in technologies that may not deliver key benefits a more mature flexibility platform sector could.
A more coordinated approach to procurement and flexibility procurement platforms being developed by multiple parties should be taken, while establishing new operational standards for data, processes and interoperability, the paper says.
Ofgem and the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have called on network and system operators to “open up new markets for flexibility, including as alternatives to network reinforcement” and to “improve coordination across the system” in order to improve access to markets as well as to “reduce the costs of the energy system and work to keep energy bills as low as possible for consumers”.
Flexibility is considered in two ways, where energy demand or generation responds to the price of energy and network use; and where different entities exchange flexibility with each other and set up procurement contracts for that purpose.