We are developing our first Flexibility Markets Strategy to set out our vision, desired outcomes, and the road map to unlocking the flexibility in the GB electricity network. To ensure that it’s successful, we’d like our industry stakeholders to review it and provide feedback, helping to make sure the final result unlocks the flexibility we need for system operation. The strategy will be published in autumn 2024.

As both supply and demand become much more weather-dependent and volatile, we will see periods where we have too much renewable generation available to the electricity system as well as periods where we have too little. To manage this, our control room needs to have access to dispatchable power to prepare for these changes in supply or demand, which is the essence of flexibility. By enabling access more flexibility across the whole electricity system, we will be able to minimise the cost to consumers of decarbonising the GB electricity network and keep the lights on.

We are therefore developing our first Flexibility Markets Strategy, focusing on defining the outcomes and associated activities needed in the next five years to build the foundation for the flexibility required in a net zero electricity system.

How to get involved

We are calling for input on our proposed outline of a Flexibility Markets Strategy, which shares our vision of how flexible resources could move seamlessly between markets to deliver whole electricity system value to the consumers.  

We would like views from industry colleagues and experts in energy markets, energy flexibility and sector digitalisation. We particularly welcome responses from flexibility market participants, system operators, policy and regulation representatives.  

The call for input will be open until the 28 June 2024. 

Call for input webinar and materials

We have outlined our thoughts on the strategy for your input here:

Read the call for input Watch the presentation

Provide your feedback Download the FAQs

During this time, we want to hear from you!  

Illustration showing Strategy
Home making fresh coffee in the morning

Join our webinar

We will host a question and answer session on 5 June 14:00 – 15:30. Please register here to join us where you can get the required clarifications and ask us questions to help you effectively respond to our questions and provide any further thoughts for our consideration in the development of the strategy. Feel free to share your questions via email to us at [email protected].

Register to join us 

We’re also open to 1-1 sessions, enabling you to ask us your questions directly. Please email us with your questions and availability.  

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Routes to Market Review for Demand Side Flexibility

The proposed Flexibility Market Strategy aims to support the evolution of demand side flexibility, from occasional events to day-to-day actions, by focusing on unlocking further access to core markets and a route to market for flexibility service providers, helping to incubate and encourage the emerging supply chain for demand side flexibility, and supporting the evolution of wider market signals to encourage and reward demand side flexibility.  

We believe that demand side flexibility has a key role to play in operating a secure, low cost, zero carbon system, but demand side flexibility is currently underrepresented across our services due to market rules, policy, and regulatory barriers.  

This Routes to Market Review for Demand Side Flexibility is a part of the Flexibility Market Strategy workstream 2, to remove barriers and pain points for flexibility across ESO services and markets. This review aims to: 

  • engage stakeholders in identifying barriers to markets & in informing ESO change activities to remove barriers, 
  • give ESO a better understanding of current & emerging demand slide flexibility capabilities, 
  • enable ESO to fully understand and prioritise the barriers that are stopping demand side flexibility from participating in our services. 

Today we are publishing a draft of the Routes to Market Review for Demand Side Flexibility, in order to work with industry in gaining a common understanding of current demand side flexibility characteristics and capabilities, and the barriers that exists for demand side flexibility in participating in our markets. 

How to get involved: 

We are asking industry stakeholders to engage with the Routes to Market Review for Demand Side Flexibility by reviewing the below documents and responding to the questionnaire. You may also email us directly at [email protected]. 

This questionnaire is open until Friday 28 June 2024.  

Routes to Market Review for Demand Side Flexibility - industry engagement  

Supporting Documents Published
Questionnaire 22 May 2024
Archetypes  22 May 2024
ESO Service Requirements 22 May 2024
Barriers matrix excel file  22 May 2024