Shaping the whole electricity system of the future

The world of energy is transforming. The way we make it and the way we use it are being changed by advances in technology and the move to a low-carbon society.

As Electricity System Operator, our role is vital in enabling this technology revolution. By taking a ‘whole electricity system’ approach, we can unlock the potential for delivering the benefits consumers want and expect. ‘Whole electricity system’ means from the point of generation to the sockets in consumers’ homes and business – and all points in between.

We’re working closely with our stakeholder partners to drive innovation – and we’re already seeing results ‘on the ground’.

For example, a key challenge is increasing capacity for new connections. The densely-populated south east of England has previously struggled with network constraints. Our Regional Development Programme (RDP) is changing that. Working with UK Power Networks, a combination of innovative commercial arrangements and modern technologies mean we have over 100MW of new connection projects in the pipeline. We’re now working with Western Power Distribution and Scottish Power Energy Networks on further RDPs in the south west of England and Scotland respectively. 

We alone cannot enable the transformation across the whole electricity system; input from our stakeholders and customers is crucial, as seen for example in the Power Responsive programme, encouraging more stakeholders to provide flexibility services.

We’re closely involved in the Energy Network Association’s Open Networks project, where the Future Worlds consultation saw more than 200 stakeholders involved in consultation events and webinars. Both will be vital to the future evolution of thinking around the concept of ‘Whole Electricity System’.

Later in the year, we will publish more detailed thinking, informed by further engagement with our customers and stakeholders – through industry fora, our RIIO-2 engagement, responses to the Future Worlds consultation and individual meetings and discussions.

This is an exciting time for the ESO as we become a standalone organisation and, working with our industry partners, I believe we are well positioned to enable evolution of whole electricity system thinking.

Read more about our whole electricity system approach