A smart, flexible energy system - NFU response

Pylons at sunset_12713The NFU has responded to a call for evidence from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the energy regulator, Ofgem.

They are looking at how a 'smart' and flexible energy system might offer benefits for consumers and the economy, helping us to use electricity more flexibly and increasing the efficiency of the whole system.

From the farming point of view, we recognise that a growing proportion of new power generating capacity comprises small to medium scale renewables, connected to local ‘distribution’ networks. 

However, we are concerned that our members should not have to bear a significant increase in network usage charges, since they are often both users and self-generators of electricity. There is an emerging variety of opportunities for farmers to host or invest in electricity storage systems.

Read the full NFU response here.

Among the key points raised, we've said:

- Ofgem’s responsibility for protecting consumers should extend to informing and explaining to energy bill payers about the level of investment needed by DNOs (Distribution Network Operators) as well as by the transmission network.

- Government should speed up incentives for time-constrained export-limited connections and energy storage that can help Distribution Network Operators with managing local networks, as part of the new business environment of ‘flexible’ or ‘alternative’ generation connection offers.

- We want to see a regulatory framework that is fit for purpose in maximising the opportunities for SMEs (including farmers and growers) to benefit from on-site generation (behind the meter) as well as providing network balancing services to others.

- We would like farmers to be offered access to voluntary demand-side response measures at the same pace as other domestic and commercial electricity users.

- We would like to see farmers incentivised to offer ‘Dynamic Frequency Response’ services to the electricity network by modulating their output or demand as required by the Transmission Operator.

Last edited on: 16:01:2017

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