||In the UK, the electricity network is the most widespread energy network, reaching nearly every home and public, commercial and industrial building. It is also the one that serves the greatest number of end-uses, from lighting and heat to appliances, electronics and industrial loads. The possible means of generation are also broad, though currently large-scale thermal power generation (notably gas and nuclear) dominate and are linked by the transmission system. Recently there has been a growth in renewable generation (including on- and off-shore wind, solar PV and biomass) that has been connected at both transmission and distribution level, some of which has required additions or upgrades to the network.
Tthe electricity network is set to have an increasingly important role in energy supply. As a result it is expected to face greater loads and will need to be able to serve rapidly growing demands in certain sectors. to do so it will need to be adapted and enhanced and, in particular, be able to handle increased capacity and deliver new connections. these changes will arise across the network but there remains a major challenge in identifying, where, when, in which way and to what extent to enhance the network. this will be particularly acute for the distribution network, where information on the existing state of the network is not as widely available.
Factors that will influence the need for adaptation and enhancement include:
Options for adapting and enhancing the network include:
- variation in capacity growth requirements;
- available physical space; and
- land value
To meet growing electrified demands, in particular for heat and transport, it will be necessary to connect new and a greater number of sites. There will be network architecture choices for integrating, e.g., new types of generation, in new locations, and with higher capacity connections. There will be system level choices to be made accounting for trade-offs between resource availability and network cost impacts or between generation technology and network technology.Electricity network operation will also become more important, with the potential both for more involvement in balancing supply and demand and for increased integration between networks to alleviate constraints elsewhere
- smart grid solutions;
- fault current limiters;
- energy storage; and
- conventional reinforcement