KJ Tait

Constrained Electricity Networks

16 October 2023

With the move to electrification of heating systems and generation of electricity through renewables, there is a renewed focus on the constrained distribution of electricity in the UK.  With outdated infrastructure, both within the transmission side and distribution sides, the intermittency of renewable generation and the decentralisation are presenting severe challenges to ensure supply and demand continues to be balanced. 


The challenge around intermittency is not confined to when the wind blows or the sun shines, wind farms can be situated in remote coastal areas or offshore, far away from population centres.   


For electrified heating systems such as heat pumps, using the Energy Networks Association’s approved list of products can speed up the process of Distribution Network Operator (DNO) approval, saving time and money when replacing systems.   


In order to ascertain whether an area of the country may be constrained, we have recently been using the Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks Generation Availability portal.  This allows us visibility of where constrained networks may be in the south of England and Scotland.   This tool enables us to understand early in the design process what potential constraints we may face around the implementation of on-site renewable electricity and potential costs associated with reinforcing the network.