Ofgem launches smart grid framework

Energy regulator Ofgem has unveiled its first Smart Grid Evaluation Framework in a bid to boost the rollout of smart grids by the energy industry.

Published today (April 20) for the Smart Grids Forum (SGF) the framework aims to encourage implementation of smart grids by the energy suppliers by providing methodology to help them assess the likely value of grids under a range of time frames and scenarios.

The forum was set up by Ofgem and DECC last year in a bid to reduce the impact the UK’s transition to a low carbon energy system will have on energy suppliers. It is anticipated that in particular the electrification of heat and transport will create new challenges for Distribution Network Operators (DNOs).

However, it is hoped that better monitoring and control of distribution networks, alongside consumer engagement will help reduce the cost of meeting these challenges, compared with more conventional solutions.

Developed by power network consultants EA Technology and Frontier Economics the framework also highlights the key factors which drive smart grids benefits and shows initial results produced by the model.

Initial findings from a recently published SGF report suggest that, smart grid solutions could provide a significant net benefit to the UK, even in scenarios with a lower take-up of low carbon technologies.

EA Technology framework co-author Dave Roberts, said: “This is the first work of its kind in the UK and an important step towards understanding the circumstances in which it is in the interests of consumers for the industry to invest in smart grids, rather than conventional network solutions.”

Carys Matthews

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