Energy networks

Networks form a key component of the value chain. With ongoing and significant changes occurring throughout the sector, independent networks (iDNOs and iGTs) can struggle to keep abreast of market developments and the commercial & regulatory implications of new rules and modifications.

Cornwall Insight and Pixie Energy have developed a specific and bespoke regulatory service for network companies. This will provide Network businesses with timely updates on changes that could impact their operations and ensure clear notification of vital changes in policy, regulation and industry codes. Our services include monthly backstop assessments, weekly updates and a monthly forum to discuss the key challenges and issues of our customers.

Past network-related activity undertaken by Cornwall Insight has predominantly provided services to suppliers and generators, and its well respected knowledge of network charges and charging models. It is also heavily involved in wider industry workstreams including Open Networks, and innovation projects under Network Innovation Allowance and Competition funding (NIA and NIC).

Our services in energy networks

  • Networks regulatory service – an in-depth service designed for network operators and consumer bodies that covers impact assessments, industry modifications and clear summaries of key industry meetings.

  • Network charging forecasts – reports which set out our forecast of long-term TNUoS and DUoS charges, capacity scenarios and GDA/DDA mapping

  • Network Forum – a monthly Forum providing updates and insight for independent network operators into relevant policy and regulatory developments.

For more information about our services contact us on

Recent insight

The Renewable Energy Association (REA) ranked GB eighth out of nine European electricity markets, in its inaugural Energy Transition Readiness Index. The report, issued on 13 November, ranks flexibility markets across nine Northern European countries, considering the attractiveness of each market for new investors.

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On 26 September, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) released a review of the economic regulatory framework in Australia. Drawing on analysis by SA (South Australia) Power Networks, AEMC identified reforms that should be put in place to ensure that distributed energy resources are integrated to avoid new network investment. 

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Software company Piclo released two white papers in September sharing findings from the pilot phase of its Piclo Flex Marketplace trial. The papers, supported by BEIS, explore the future of distributed flexibility procurement as researched through Piclo’s trials with all six of GB’s Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). 

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As the electricity sector decarbonises, policy makers and advisers are increasingly focusing on decarbonisation of the heat sector. This has been embodied by multiple consultations on the topic, such as Net Zero – The UK’s contribution to stopping global warming from the Committee on Climate Change, and a promise to amend the Climate Change Act 2008 to achieve net zero by 2050. 

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The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has compiled the flexibility procurement timetables for all distribution network operators (DNOs) in Great Britain. The schedule highlights DNO flexibility procurement between 2018 and 2020.

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On 6 August, BEIS published the 2019 Q2 Heat Networks Project Pipeline. The summary brings together a range of investment opportunities across projects supported through their development stages by the Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) and projects seeking capital support from the Heat Networks Investment Project (HNIP). 

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The Energy Systems Catapult recently published a study, by low carbon energy consultancy Element Energy, Vehicle to Grid Britain. The study examines the long-term values available to users of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. V2G allows EV batteries to export energy to the networks, whether that be the home or business it is connected to, or the wider system. 

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National Grid issued its 2019 Future Energy Scenarios forecasts on 11 July. This annual forecast provides detailed insight into the expected future energy system, against four scenarios across gas and electricity. National Grid use this data to plan the future transmission systems, but it gives a fascinating insight into likely future energy use. 

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Researchers from the School of Economics and Business Administration at Chongqing University, China, have identified the optimum coefficient for government subsidy to rationalise the investment in microgrids in a recent study, The Impact of Government Subsidy on Renewable Microgrid Investment Considering Double Externalities. Microgrids often require public support to be economically viable. Governments therefore often subsidise them in order to increase market penetration. 

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