Combined Heat & Power, District Heating & Cooling, Demand Side Services, Energy Efficiency

Time to get on the front foot for flexible future

Published on 26 February 2020

This report was produced by Energy UK, in partnership with The Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) and BEAMA.

Time to get on the front foot for flexible future | ADE publications

The report highlights the crucial role flexibility services, like energy storage and demand side response (DSR), will play in reaching the Net Zero target and dealing with peaks and troughs in energy demand.

In a low carbon energy system, which will increasingly feature intermittent sources like wind and solar as part of a far more diverse and localised generation mix, flexibility will be key to making the most efficient use of these resources.

Flexibility will ensure security of supply and cut the amount that has to be spent on generation capacity and grid reinforcement, as well as give customers the chance to save money – or even be paid – for using energy at certain times of the day and enable them to use electric vehicles to store energy and then supply it for their own uses or sell back to the grid.

Research has estimated that achieving the full potential of flexibility could deliver savings of £8 billion a year by the end of the decade - and even reach £40 billion a year by 2050.

However, the report also expresses concern that despite widespread consensus on the importance of flexibility and its potential, progress with integrating it into the energy system has been slow and patchy, and the UK risks failing to make the most of the opportunity.

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