Smart Solar at Scale: Meeting the UK’s net-zero emissions and clean growth targets

Publication Details

This report examines the current regulatory and legislative framework that governs the UK’s energy system, with a focus on renewable sources of energy and the issues that arise from the status quo on power generation and distribution.

It makes the case for scaling up the development and implementation of smart solar and battery storage technologies to meet the UK’s objectives for both carbon reduction and clean economic growth.

We explore the challenges and outline the solutions that can remove the current policy and regulatory barriers to achieve this ambition.

Key recommendations of the report include:

1. The UK Government should continue its trajectory of enabling key investments in smart solar, which has been set by recent energy policy. Some regulatory changes will be required to speedup market adoption and strengthen the UK’s competitive position.

2. The National Grid Capacity Market should aim to increase storage and Demand Side Response participation, extending the one-year contracts under transitional arrangements for a longer time period.

3. The industry would benefit from the deployment of large scale, medium to long duration storage.

4. The Government should review transmission access rights, possibly through a Transmission Access Review.

5. With regards to double charging, the Access Framework by Ofgem should be modified to develop clearer definitions of capacity rights as distinct from connection capacity.

6. Researchers should produce more analysis on the impacts of moving to half-hourly settlement.

7. The Government should consider a common policy for Demand Side Response, in order to maximise the flexibility potential of electricity demand.

8. Remove barriers to smart home balancing as part of the proposed changes to the Targeted Charging Review.

9. Water heaters and storage heaters should be prioritised as one of the main solutions to address fuel poverty in communities.

10. Distribution network operators (DNOs) should become active managers of their networks through cross-sector reform.

11. The Government should fund R&D in Electric Vehicle Charge Services to establish the UK as a leading provider.