The DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum (SGF) is a platform for industry, government and other key stakeholders to engage on the significant challenges and opportunities posed by GB’s move to a low-carbon energy system, particularly for electricity network operators.
We jointly established the forum in 2011 with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to support the transition so it is safe, secure, efficient and delivers the best value for current and future energy consumers. We encourage stakeholders to contribute to the SGF and its nine workstreams.
You can find out more about smart grids on the UK Smart Grid Forum Portal.
In addition to the portal, you can access agendas, minutes and outputs from our meetings, alongside our annual reports, in the publications and updates list below or through the relevant workstream page.
About the Smart Grid Forum's scope and aims
The Forum aims to:
- identify future challenges for electricity networks and system balancing, including current and potential barriers to efficient deployment of smart grids.
- guide the actions that we are taking with DECC to address future challenges, remove barriers and aid efficient deployment.
- identify actions that DECC, the industry, other parties and we could be taking to facilitate the deployment of smart grids.
- facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge between key parties, including those outside the energy sector.
- help all stakeholders better understand future developments in the industry that they need to prepare for.
- track smart grid developments and their drivers.
- track smart grid initiatives in Europe and elsewhere.
View the Smart Grid Forum's nine workstreams and access related outputs
Workstream one (WS1): Assumptions and scenarios
Led by DECC, WS1 develops the assumptions and scenarios necessary to keep our work consistent with government policy, and for network companies to use in their business planning.
Led by Ofgem, WS2 developed a framework to evaluate, at high level, alternative network development options. This workstream is now complete.
Led by the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), WS3 assessed the network impacts of WS1 assumptions and scenarios.
Workstream four (WS4): Closing doors
Led by forum members, WS4 brought together stakeholders to identify credible risks posed by forthcoming policy decisions that may not fully consider the necessary enablers for smart grid development. This workstream is now closed.
Workstream five (WS5): Ways of working
Led by Ofgem, WS5 looks at how the SGF can best pursue its objectives and communicate effectively with stakeholders.
Led by Ofgem, WS6 brings together stakeholders to investigate the commercial and regulatory challenges of implementing smart grid solutions.
Led by the Energy Networks Association, WS7 is a technical study of all aspects of the operation of a future distribution network.
Workstream eight (WS8): Smart grid indicators
Led by DECC, WS8 is exploring ways our progress in deploying smart grid solutions can be monitored and reported.
WS9 has three active work groups addressing:
- the smart grid technology supply chain
- the application of the European Smart Grid Architecture Model
- horizon scanning.
Background: Towards a smart grid
Electricity networks will have to be developed to efficiently facilitate low carbon developments in generation, supply and consumption, while ensuring security of supply.
To meet this challenge, the future system must be more integrated and flexible than it is today. We will need a smarter network with the capacity to transfer significantly more energy between a diverse range of generators and consumers.
In particular, the systems necessary to balance supply and demand will overlap and be integrated with network and demand control technologies. Significantly more system monitoring and intelligent control are expected to be needed to securely manage a much more complex system while meeting the demand for energy with the optimum level of generation and network capacity.
Against this background, the level of interest and activity related to the development of smarter electricity networks continues to grow.
To this end, Ofgem took an early lead with DECC in 2009 when we published the Electricity Networks Strategy Group’s Vision and Route Map for Smart Grids. The SGF updated this work in 2014 with the Smart Grid Vision and Routemap.