Summary of response

We welcome the attention being paid by Ofgem and BEIS to the need for flexibility in Britain’s electricity system. In our view the main reason to support electricity system flexibility is that it can help minimise the costs of meeting the UK’s statutory climate targets whilst ensuring that system security is not compromised.

The electricity system’s ability to adapt to changing demand in timescales of years down to minutes and varying availability of power from different resources will be extremely important to meeting these policy goals. Furthermore, action is needed so that those consumers that are best able to adapt their patterns of use of electricity have sufficient incentives and rewards for doing so. One manifestation of the main goal in accommodating future generation and demand is an objective to maximise the utilisation (across each year of operation) of electricity system assets, i.e. generators, network components and storage facilities.

Whilst the title of the call for evidence focuses on ‘a smart, flexible energy system’, most of the raised relate to the electricity system. We have therefore focused most of our responses on electricity rather than the energy system as a whole. Our responses are selective. We have only answered those questions where we can offer relevant evidence, based on our research and expertise.