Innovation is critical to helping us meet the challenges of transitioning to a zero carbon future. As we sit at the very heart of the energy system, we play a central role in overcoming these challenges.

What we do at ESO Innovation

We work with innovation partners to solve problems arising from the energy system transition and to maximise benefits for the GB System and the end consumer. We run innovation events to explore new ideas, develop innovation projects, and share the outcomes of our innovation activities. 

How we work

We co-create and deliver innovation projects with academic and industry partners across sectors. These will help us to operate the electricity transmission system more effectively in the future.

Innovation projects

We are on track to fully decarbonise the system by 2035. To help us achieve this, we have a portfolio of active innovation projects funded by both the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)Network Innovation Competition (NIC) and Ofgem’s new Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

Distributed ReStart

Here you can find out about the Distributed ReStart project. Learn about the project’s benefits, its partners, and the workstreams that delivered its outputs.

Virtual Energy System

In 2021 ESO launched an ambitious, industry-wide mission to digitise our energy system. We call it the Virtual Energy System.


CrowdFlex explores how domestic flexibility can be used in grid operations while empowering consumers to be active players in reducing their energy bills via new tariffs and incentives.


Teen checking screen at night

The critical role of innovation in delivering a net zero…

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Read our Innovation Strategy to learn how innovation is critical to address the challenges of delivering a net zero…

Future energy

Blog feature: Innovating and implementing a zero-carbon…

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Securing a low-carbon energy future and accelerating the route to net zero remains one of the biggest challenges and…

Wind powerplant and technology

The future of the ESO and Artificial Intelligence

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In celebration of the release of our refreshed ESO Innovation Strategy, we’re highlighting one of our Innovation…