Why Renewable Energy is the Best Way out of the Current Energy Crisis By Ged Ennis MD of The Low Carbon Energy Company

3 of 3 posts – National grid takes major step forward to decarbonising UK power

As part of the UK’s Net Zero commitments, the government has already announced its plans to decarbonise the nation’s power system by 2035. A major development in these plans happened in February 2022: for the first time, renewable generators have had the green light to provide stability services to the National Grid ESO, which is the electricity system operator for Great Britain.

Starting from the 15th of February onwards, wind, wave and solar generators will now be able to offer specific stability services to the National Grid. Up until now, these sorts of services have only been provided by conventional generators, such as hydrocarbon or nuclear plants. The change is the result of a formal change to the Grid Code, which is essentially the system that sets the specification for everything that connects to the National Grid.

Updates to the Grid Code aren’t always especially newsworthy in themselves – the Grid is routinely updated to ensure that it’s always responding effectively to new economic influences, and continually able to meet demand.

However, this particular Grid Code update is a significant event in itself, given that it paves the way for a new market in stability services from renewable sources, and moves us a big step closer to successfully decarbonising our power system and facilitating our achievement of Net Zero.

The approval for green generators to stabilise the National Grid has been described as a ‘breakthrough moment’ by Tony Johnson, who led the project for the National Grid’s ESO’s markets team.

“It’s the culmination of up to 10 years of thinking and working with stakeholders to find the common ground between what equipment is capable of doing and what the system needs.” He said. “It also ensures that as we transition away from conventional fossil fuelled generation, we can operate the grid securely and efficiently, which will ultimately save consumers money.”