The building blocks for our net zero future

Introduction from Andrew Roper, Distribution System Operations Director, SSEN Distribution

It is essential that we facilitate the decarbonisation of transport, heat and our energy system, with minimal increases to customer bills while maintaining high levels of network reliability

Our journey to net zero is well underway. The Climate Change Committee have been clear that uptake of low carbon technologies, necessary to deliver net zero targets, could almost treble GB electricity demand by 2050. This will need new system capacity to manage the growth in connections and meet customer demand. Our holistic approach takes advantage of all available technologies to optimise our existing network; maximise the opportunity from flexibility contracts and connections; and leverage whole system opportunities before we commit to investing in new network.

We are fully committed to a fair transition that leaves nobody behind. The net zero future offers considerable opportunities but also the risk that new forms of unfairness will be embedded into the system. With the right data, forecasting, regulations, skills and investment, we can ensure a transition that is smart and fair.

Our DSO plan in action

  • What does the UK's future energy ecosystem look like?

    Electricity DNOs are critical enablers of the UK’s ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The development of DSO capabilities will lead to additional, cost-effective energy capacity to meet the expected growth in future demand from a changing energy network. Our role will be to deliver new marketplaces for flexibility services through an adapted and enhance infrastructure, rich in opportunities for customers to get involved.
  • Smart and local benefits for our communities

    Through developing our DSO capabilities to operate at scale, customers will experience the positive impact of increased flexibility used to manage our network: a more reliable, affordable and decarbonised energy system. Our DSO strategy fully supports local ambitions and the geographical considerations of our two distinct networks.
  • What does good look like for DSO?

    We have set out a proposal for the high-level design of our three DSO performance metrics which will allow stakeholders and Ofgem to monitor and evaluate our progress during RIIO-ED2. These metrics will be built into Ofgem’s DSO Output Delivery Incentive (ODI) which, once ratified, will effectively incentivise our performance.
  • Creating opportunities for stakeholders

    Our customers and stakeholders have been clear with their priorities and what they expect from DSO services. By understanding their needs we can make sure the different functions and services of DSO can match their requirements.
  • How you can engage with DSO opportunities

    We will develop capabilities, systems and processes over RIIO-ED2 to enable scaling up of DSO to deliver net zero, delivering 3.7GW of flexible connection capacity, saving £417million of reinforcement costs, and 5GW of flexibility services through new markets and with new customers.
  • What you can expect and when from DSO services

    Customers can already access improved data and forecasting publications and we will add to these from the start of RIIO-ED2 (April 2023). This is also where you will find the action plan timeline for the first two years of ED2.

Related information

How are we transforming for a net zero world?

Electricity networks are becoming smarter and flexible to support everything from solar panels on roofs, to community energy projects and even batteries in cars and homes playing an enhanced role. This shift is creating exciting opportunities to put individuals and local communities at the heart of the net zero transition.

Discover more of what we are doing and how it will benefit our customers and the future of our electricity networks on our dedicated website here. 
Our future