The GB energy landscape has undergone significant changes in the past decade as decarbonisation and renewable energy targets have driven a rapid growth in renewable energy generation and overall reductions in electricity and gas demand. As the electricity network owner in the north of Scotland, our main focus has been on delivering the additional capacity and connections required for this increased renewable energy generation in an economic and efficient way, while ensuring reliability of supplied for our network users and consumers. As we begin planning for our next price control period, RIIO-T2, which will begin in 2021, we are mindful of significant uncertainty on some aspects of the future of energy which will influence what network developments are required.
Uncertainty in areas such as the electrification of heat and transport, and which generation technologies are likely to be developed in our area, could significantly impact the generation and demand profile. To be able to meet customers’ needs in a timely manner, we must understand the range of potential outcomes in these areas, and the effects that this would have on the transmission network, to determine the scale of investment required over the next decade. This will also indicate what type of network developments future investment will be focused on. The impact of many of the uncertainties are being felt first on the distribution network, such as the increasing proportion of embedded generation on the system, and increasing ownership of electric vehicles. These changes at the distribution network level have the potential to impact the transmission network at the grid supply points (GSPs) and to influence overall flows on the network.