Transmission and distribution network operators must work more closely together to deliver flexibility services and create a smart grid or “internet of energy’, according to a new study.

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) commissioned consultancy firm Baringa to produce an independent impact assessment report examining five “Future World” models for how Britain’s electricity networks could support the decarbonisation of heating and transport.

Using new technologies to decentralise the grid will give the public access to new services in the quickest and cheapest way.

A consultation on the proposals runs until 1 May.

Building on ‘Open Networks’ project

Duncan Sinclair, Partner for Energy, Utilities & Resources at Baringa, said: “Planning and operating the electricity networks is becoming increasingly complex, and in order to keep costs down, distribution system operators must maximise the use of flexible resources connected to their networks."

“The ENA’s Open Networks project is exploring how best to do this, and it has identified five potential ‘Future Worlds’."

“Our independent impact assessment of these ‘Future Worlds’ is the first time an attempt has been made to understand the costs, benefits, strengths and weaknesses of the potential new models of distribution system operation.”

> Take part in the consultation