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Posted 1 week ago | 2 minute read

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UK flexibility market doubles capacity 

Network operators tendered a record capacity on Great Britain’s local flexibility markets last year, with 4GW contracted, reflecting a nearly twofold increase in one year. 

Britain‘s local energy flexibility market has reached a milestone, with network operators tendering a record 6.4GW of capacity in 2023. Of which 4GW was contracted, double the 2GW contracted in 2022, as growing demand for energy storage and demand management services that can help balance grids that are increasingly reliant on renewables further underscored the UK’s position as a world-leading flexibility market. 

The figures, published by the Energy Networks Association (ENA) on 4 July, also show that for a second year in a row approximately 75% of the contracted flexibility is made up of low-carbon technologies, such as stored energy, solar and biofuel. 

The figures, come one year on from ENA’s Open Networks Programme, which introduced three new work streams aimed at improving access to local flexibility markets. By fostering closer collaboration with industry, the programme has effectively lowered barriers to market entry, resulting in a doubling of contracted flexibility within one year. 

Ofgem has previously forecast flexibility services could result in a £10B/year saving in energy costs by 2050, while helping to reduce the total cost of the net zero transition by up to £70B by optimising the use of the UK’s growing renewables capacity and reducing the need for costly back up power plants and increased transmission capacity. 

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