At National Grid ESO our projects all contribute towards our effort to make the grid ready to operate with 100% zero carbon electricity by 2025. 

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).

You can find out more about our projects below or find our whole portfolio on the ENA Smarter Networks Portal.

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.

Strategic projects

Early Competition

Early Competition is a competitive process to select a bidder a solution or a specific need on GB's electricity transmission system. The process begins ‘early’, prior to the detailed design, surveying and consenting phases of solution development.

Net Zero Market Reform

ESO’s Net Zero Market Reform programme was established in early 2021 to examine holistically the changes to current GB electricity market design that will be required to achieve net zero.

Stability Market Design

The Stability Market Design project will consider current GB stability arrangements and investigate the best option for an end-to-end stability market design.

Whole Energy Market Strategy (WEMS)

Our Whole Energy Market Strategy team was established in early 2024 to develop an independent view of cross vector market interactions, providing recommended solutions to tackling challenges, conflicts and inefficiencies to facilitate net zero.

Power Potential

Power Potential is a ground-breaking collaboration between National Grid ESO (NGESO), UK Power Networks and generators on the south coast distribution network.

Resource adequacy

Resource adequacy assesses the potential risks to security of supply and whether there are sufficient available resources to meet electricity demand throughout the year.

Network Planning Review

The Network Planning Review (NPR) has been established by the ESO to ensure that network design and investment processes in GB are fit for the future.

Offshore Coordination Project

Offshore wind has been identified as a critical technology in achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In order to help realise this target, a step-change in both the speed and scale of deployment of offshore wind is required.