UKERC Energy Data Centre: ETI Publications

UKERC Home >> EDC Home >> ETI Publications >> Back to Results >> ETI Insights Report - UK Networks Transition Challenges - Electricity

ETI Insights Report - UK Networks Transition Challenges - Electricity

Citation Lidstone, L. ETI Insights Report - UK Networks Transition Challenges - Electricity, ETI, 2016.
Cite this using DataCite
Author(s) Lidstone, L.
Project partner(s) ETI
Publisher ETI
Download Network-Transitions-Electricity_161031_115525.pdf document type
Abstract In the UK, the electricity network is the most widespread energy network, reaching nearly every home and public, commercial and industrial building. It is also the one that serves the greatest number of end-uses, from lighting and heat to appliances, electronics and industrial loads. The possible means of generation are also broad, though currently large-scale thermal power generation (notably gas and nuclear) dominate and are linked by the transmission system. Recently there has been a growth in renewable generation (including on- and off-shore wind, solar PV and biomass) that has been connected at both transmission and distribution level, some of which has required additions or upgrades to the network.

Tthe electricity network is set to have an increasingly important role in energy supply. As a result it is expected to face greater loads and will need to be able to serve rapidly growing demands in certain sectors. to do so it will need to be adapted and enhanced and, in particular, be able to handle increased capacity and deliver new connections. these changes will arise across the network but there remains a major challenge in identifying, where, when, in which way and to what extent to enhance the network. this will be particularly acute for the distribution network, where information on the existing state of the network is not as widely available.

Factors that will influence the need for adaptation and enhancement include:
  • variation in capacity growth requirements;
  • available physical space; and
  • land value
Options for adapting and enhancing the network include:
  • smart grid solutions;
  • fault current limiters;
  • energy storage; and
  • conventional reinforcement
To meet growing electrified demands, in particular for heat and transport, it will be necessary to connect new and a greater number of sites. There will be network architecture choices for integrating, e.g., new types of generation, in new locations, and with higher capacity connections. There will be system level choices to be made accounting for trade-offs between resource availability and network cost impacts or between generation technology and network technology.Electricity network operation will also become more important, with the potential both for more involvement in balancing supply and demand and for increased integration between networks to alleviate constraints elsewhere
Associated Project(s) ETI-EN2002: Network Capacity
Associated Dataset(s) No associated datasets
Associated Publication(s)

An ETI Perspective - Low carbon challenges for UK energy networks

Enabling efficient networks for low carbon futures: Options for governance and regulation

ETI Insights Report - UK Networks Transition Challenges - Gas

ETI Insights Report - UK Networks Transition Challenges - Heat

ETI Insights Report - UK Networks Transition Challenges - Hydrogen

Infographic - UK Networks Transition Challenges

Network Capacity - Barriers to Application of Multi-Terminal HVDC in the UK: WP2 Task 4

Network Capacity - Barriers to Deployment; and Environmental & Social Impacts of Deployment: WP1 Tasks 4 & 5

Network Capacity - Executive Summary

Network Capacity - Feasibility Assessment of Onshore Multi-Terminal High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Systems in the UK

Network Capacity - Final Project Summary (Work Packages 1 & 2 a.k.a. WP1 Task 8)

Network Capacity - One Page Summary

Network Capacity - Performance of Onshore Multi-Terminal HVDC: WP2 Tasks 2 & 3

Network Capacity - Request for Proposal

Network Capacity - Technology Options, Benefits & Barriers Workshop and Multi-Criteria Assessment: WP1 Tasks 6 & 7

Network Capacity - WP1 Task 1: Assessment of Power Electronic Technologies - A literature review of the relevant power electronic technologies

Network Capacity -WP1 Task 2: Impact of Active Power Flow Management Solutions

Options Choices Actions - UK scenarios for a low carbon energy system

The Networks Jigsaw Event

UK Networks Transition Challenges - A Systems View