The UK's electricity market faces a number of significant and potentially conflicting challenges.
Increasing environmental awareness; volatility in global markets; shifts in weather
patterns; increasing electrification of transport and heating, and development of a social conscience about
where and how electricity is generated.
Decarbonisation policy both national and international requires rapid and significant
increases in low carbon generation. Renewable generation is less flexible and predictable than carbon
intensive generation presenting an increasing challenge to match electricity demand with supply.
Security of supply
The increased risk to the security of Britain's electricity supply is apparent both in
terms of decreasing overall capacity and a lack of responsiveness of available capacity to match real-time
fluctuations. Capacity auctions may preserve supply but tend to favour thermal generation.
Evolving Energy Networks
Grids and networks are undergoing fundamental changes in the way they
operate. Generation is increasingly dispersed across the network and flows of energy are increasingly twoway:
this presents system operators at all scales with a more complicated and interdependent system to
The changing nature of energy generation and consumption requires investment to upgrade system infrastructure and controls to allow it to continue to function for the needs of the UK. New technologies will be a crucial component of the future networks.
These potentially conflicting aims of decarbonisation, maintaining security of supply and keeping prices affordable are set in the context of a highly regulated sector. In summary, providing affordable, reliable, clean energy presents a formidable challenge.
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