Mar 2013
Electricity Distribution
Supergen FlexNet
IFI 0618
Mar 2013
SP Energy Networks
SP Energy Networks Innovation
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Innovation Funding Incentive
High Voltage Technology
FlexNet is a four-year EPSRC funded programme that takes forward the process of preparing electricity networks for a low carbon future and builds on an initial programme of works, FutureNet that is nearing completion.

The programme recognises the interdependence of many factors in achieving change through its integration of the work of internationally recognised researchers from disciplines such as social psychology, economics, power systems analysis, power systems technology and public policy and the long-term, radical nature of the changes needed and is not dependent on any particular form of generation.

FlexNet's intention is to put in place a substantial body of work that will build on the achievements of FutureNet and lay out the major steps, technical, economic, market design, public acceptance and others, that will lead to flexible networks, including starting to showcase these so that they can be taken up by the commercial sector, Government and Regulators for practical implementation.

Some of the key issues to be addressed by the programme include:

  • How can we judge the degree of flexibility needed?

  • How can flexibility be achieved?

  • How much flexibility should come from primary plant giving margin and how much from secondary plant giving enhanced controllability?

  • What constrains or encourages flexibility, what technologies are acceptable and what economic frameworks and public policies provide flexibility at the least overall long-term cost?