On 1st December 2017, Carbon Co-op co-hosted an event with Electricity North West titled, Shaping the Future of Your Energy Network. The event was aimed at engaging a wide range of energy system stakeholders in the transition Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are making towards becoming Distribution System Operators (DSOs).
The change towards becoming a DSO reflects a fundamental shifts in the energy system, from the old ‘top down’ system that distributed electricity from large power stations to homes and businesses to increasing amounts of de-centralised, renewable energy generation and a transfer of transportation and heating away from old hydrocarbon fuels such as petrol and gas towards clean electricity. Instead of a DNO managing an unchanging, top down system we will see a DSO continually adjusting and brokering a changing, flexible local energy grid.
Jonathan Atkinson of Carbon Co-op spoke about the role of Community Energy within the DSO transition. He highlighted the match between areas of energy system congestion that DSOs need to address and the geographical positioning of many Community Energy groups – groups could have a key role in partnering with DSOs. He made the point that energy system organisations such as energy supply companies and DNOs are under increasing examination from press and politicians and that trusted community energy groups can offer legitimacy for the energy transition.
He concluded by outlining a number of potential models for Community Energy organisations to deliver energy system services. Carbon Co-op has authored a blog exploring Community Energy and its role in energy system transition.
Below are visual minutes taken at the event.