ENA sets out how Open Networks plans to continue drive to smart, net zero future

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has set out how its Open Networks Project will continue driving key changes and innovation needed to transition to a net zero smart grid.

On 18 January, the ENA published the Open Networks 2021 Work Plan, setting out a comprehensive view of the direction the project will take throughout the year, along with the outcomes it will work towards achieving. Priorities include further developing the Common Evaluation Methodology, including work on option value and the evaluation of carbon; addressing stakeholder concerns on Active Network Management and its interaction with flexibility services; and updating the standard contract for flexibility services to align with ESO services.

It also aims to conduct flexibility market simulations and trials for trading and sharing capacity; to update the DSO Implementation Plan with DNO level activities and implementation scales; to update ethe Conflicts of Interest Register to track further risks to implementing DSO functionality; to consider the benefits and use cases for expanding the Embedded Capacity Register by including assets less than 1MW; and to continue to outreach to community groups through Community Energy Forums with the goal of building an energy system that works for all.

With Covid-19 having reinforced the urgency of Britain transitioning to a smart grid that works for all, the ENA highlighted how flexibility services proved to be a valuable resource on the networks to keep energy flowing as demand patterns changed with more home working. While the challenges of the pandemic are ongoing, the project will strive to keep up the pace of change and bolster engagement. 

A consultation has also been launched, allowing stakeholders to shape the direction and priorities of the project for the year ahead. It will close on 1 March 2021.