The ESO Innovation Strategy has been developed in consultation with industry and our ESO subject matter experts. It has been informed by other ESO strategies such as Future Energy Scenarios and Bridging the Gap, as well as changing energy system dynamics from the macro trends of Decarbonisation, Decentralisation, Digitalisation and Democratisation.
It sets out how we need to innovate in 2023/2024 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.
ESO Innovation Strategy report
View our refreshed ESO Innovation Strategy document which sets out our innovation priorities for 2023-24. We have also created a printable version that is available for download.
Our innovation priorities for 2023-24
Find out about each of our innovation priorities in our Innovation Strategy including the key challenges, work completed so far, future opportunities and case studies of example innovation projects.
The need to rapidly decarbonise our power system is only becoming greater, therefore Zero Carbon Transition continues to be our top priority for 2023/24.
With the UK target to achieve this by 2035 fast approaching, we believe progress will be accelerated through innovation. We continue to work with industry and our subject matter experts to enable new research and technology, development and testing of solutions to ensure the zero carbon transition is delivered by the ESO and wider energy system, in a timely and responsible way for the benefit of all consumers.
Priority 2: Digital & Data Transformation
Digital & Data Transformation continues to underpin the success of ESO tackling almost all of its ambitions in leading the energy transition, therefore continues to be a top priority for 2023/24.
The digitalisation challenge remains great, but through collaboration with industry and other networks we are making progress. Programmes such as AI Centre of Excellence and Virtual Energy System are empowering the wider energy system to work together, by setting up the tools, channels and frameworks required to drive digitalisation.
Priority 3: Whole Energy System
As ESO transitions to become Future System Operator (FSO) with responsibilities across both the electricity and gas systems, we will leverage our unique position and collaborate with industry to find efficiencies and help optimise across these different energy vectors, transforming the whole energy system.
Priority 4: Future Markets
Designing markets that are fit for purpose continues to underpin the ESO ambitions of ‘competition everywhere’ and achieving ‘zero carbon operation’.
We continue to develop innovation projects to explore long-term options for new market design and the whole system solutions required to reach net zero.
Priority 5: Constraint Management
The cost to manage transmission system constraints continues to have an impact on consumers.
ESO’s Anglo-Scottish Intertrip scheme from the Constraint Management Pathfinder has already saved consumers £80million between April 2022 – January 2023. However, we still need to test a variety of innovative market-led solutions and new technologies to provide the most economic options for consumers.
Priority 6: System Stability and Resilience
As we transform to a zero carbon electricity system, system stability and resilience remains a key area of investment.
The NOA (Network Options Assessment) Stability Pathfinder has looked for the most cost-effective ways to address stability issues in the electricity system created by the decline in transmission connected synchronous generation.
Significant progress has been made but there is still more to be done.