ELEXON delivers its first round table – The chosen topic? Innovation

On Wednesday 20 June, ELEXON held a round table discussion on the topic ‘Innovation in the electricity Industry: solutions and challenges’, as part of our Introducing ELEXON Seminar.

The event saw Dan Bentham, Head of R&D – Smart Customers at EDF Energy, Daniel Kirk, Head of Innovation Link at Ofgem, Antoine Khalife, Head of Product Strategy and Partnerships at Good Energy, David Richardson, Innovation Lead for Energy Systems at Innovate UK and Peter Frampton, Market Architect at ELEXON discuss the challenges and solutions faced by innovators in today’s electricity market.

Topics discussed

Dan Bentham opened the discussion with EDF’s Blue Labs incubator. He described the importance of bringing new ideas into the supply business, and the changing service offering. Daniel Kirk then gave an overview of what Ofgem’s Innovation Link is doing to support innovators, following the realisation that the ‘standard’ regulatory approach might not be working. As well as receiving free, frank feedback, innovators can apply to Ofgem’s Sandbox to trial products or services without all of the restrictions in the licence conditions.

Antoine Khalife spoke about Good Energy’s approach to customer service. They are digitising their service offering and exploring new ways of allowing customers to interact with their supply, including by using the Selectricity platform. Selectricity allows consumers and generators to match, notionally providing businesses with local energy. This kind of initiative is allowing Good Energy to discover what is important to their customers. David updated the room on the work Innovate UK are doing to support innovators in the energy market, and the upcoming funding available to solve certain challenges in the GB energy market including improving battery technology and electric vehicle charging solutions.

The final presentation was from Peter Frampton, who spoke about solutions that ELEXON is bringing to innovators, including the imminent Electricity Market Sandbox to complement Ofgem’s Innovation Link, the recent White Paper on enabling Multiple Suppliers, and the importance of ELEXON’s new foundation architecture in supporting future market changes.

Q&A session

The round table, moderated by ELEXON CEO Mark Bygraves, sparked a good Q&A session between the speakers and the audience. Questions ranged from the transition to a more transactional relationship between suppliers and customers and whether this was due to a push from new technologies or a pull from customers; what the new trading opportunities are from peer-to-peer trading solutions and how they interact with transmission and distribution charging regimes; how smart EV charging solutions can be incorporated into the system and what the importance of standardisation is, and how that impacts on innovation. 

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