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Innovation strategy

The ESO Innovation Strategy has been developed in consultation with industry and informed by the results of our Bridging the Gap work. It sets out how we need to innovate in 2022/2023 and where to focus our efforts to set us on the right path for 2025 and beyond.

Given our uniquely central position, we aim to facilitate innovation across the whole energy system. We know innovators outside our organisation will be leading the effort to solve the toughest problems we face as an industry, which is why we are increasing our focus on Open Innovation.

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ESO Innovation Strategy

View our refreshed ESO Innovation Strategy document which sets out our innovation priorities for 2022/2023. We have also created a printable version that is available for download.

View the interactive innovation strategy

Our priorities for 2022-23

Find out more about each of our priorities including the challenges, opportunities, and case studies in our Innovation Strategy document.

Priority 1: Zero Carbon Transition

The need to rapidly decarbonise our power system is only becoming greater. The UK target to achieve this by 2035 have made this an even clearer priority for the ESO and energy industry.

While this net zero ambition already underpins all ESO activities, we believe faster progress in some areas can be made through innovation. We have set this as our new top Innovation Priority for 2022/23.

We must enable new research and technology, developing and testing the solutions necessary to ensure the zero carbon transition is delivered by the ESO and wider energy system in a timely, responsible way, for the benefit of all consumers.


Priority 2: Digital & Data Transformation

Digital & Data Transformation underpins the success of ESO tackling almost all of its ambitions while leading the energy transition. The scale of the challenge, both internally and across the industry, is great. We know that our stakeholders are relying on us to lead the way, which is why this continues to be our top priority in 2022/23.


Priority 3: Future Markets

Designing markets that are fit for purpose underpins the ESO ambitions of ‘competition everywhere’ and zero carbon operation. But stakeholder feedback continues to show us that current market designs – not just ESO but the wider energy and capacity markets we interact with – aren’t always optimal for net zero. We need to understand the long-term options for market design, and work with our customers and stakeholders to find the best whole-system solutions.


Priority 4: Constraint Management

The costs to manage transmission system constraints have a large impact on consumers. As GB’s offshore wind and interconnection capacity grows, these costs are expected to increase significantly further. Building new transmission and distribution network capacity to meet peak flows on the system is not always the lowest cost solution for consumers, or the best for the environment, so we need to test a variety of innovative market-led solutions and technologies in this area.


Priority 5: System Stability

Significant progress has been made on System Stability across the ESO, but there is still more to be done. As we transform to a zero carbon electricity system, it will remain a key area of investment.


Priority 6: Whole Energy System

As our energy system changes, we will take a leading role and deliver a holistic approach. With our unique position in the industry, we’ll invest significant effort to encourage collaboration and find efficiencies, particularly within hydrogen, transport, heating and smart technologies.


Priority 7: Whole Electricity System

Whole Electricity System focuses on how products, markets, and best practice can be aligned across transmission and distribution. This is an area which continues to see significant investment and collaborative efforts from the ESO, Transmission Operators (TOs) and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs).


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Get involved

We’re planning to launch our first Open Innovation call soon, which will focus on our top priorities. Sign up to our mailing list and we’ll let you know when the launch will be

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