Ofgem warned reforms could be a disincentive to flexibility

Ofgem has been told to prioritise flexibility and scrap its Targeted Charging Review reforms by the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and ElectraLink.

In a jointly published report, Flexible Futures, the REA and ElectraLink set out how the amount of power generated and exported back to the British grid had more doubled between 2012 and 2018. It noted that exports to distribution networks had reached over 45TWh in 2018, with more than 60% of the power exported coming from variable sources, including both wind and solar.

In order to meet net-zero decarbonisation targets, the report stressed significantly more variable generation from wind and solar will be required along with a stable, mature policy and regulatory framework that supports flexibility. This, it said, would be the only way to enable the widespread growth of the future low-carbon energy system that is needed. The report called for Ofgem to revisit planned reforms aimed at assessing how residual network chargers should be set and recovered. It referred to them as “damaging” and warned that they risked being a “considerable disincentive” to flexibility.

Daniel Brown, report author at the REA, said: “Industry models forecast that electricity from technologies such as wind and solar will be crucial for delivering Net Zero. For the first time the Flexible Futures data gives us an indication of the extent to which they are being deployed at the more local distribution networks, rather than at the transmission level. The data shows that exports have doubled since 2012 and given the pace of innovation in the renewable energy sector we can expect fresh growth in the 2020s. To accommodate this, flexible energy technologies need to sit at the heart of future planning and network upgrades.”