UK National MASSIG Project Seminar

on the 30th April 2010

  The first MASSIG workshop in the UK was organised in cooperation of The University of Manchester and The Joule Centre for Energy Research & Development and took place on April 30th, 2010, inside the Manchester Museum. Main objective of the workshop was to present and discuss the outcomes and findings of the MASSIG project.

The discussions focused on the challenges and opportunities for small scale generators in the UK, in particular the necessary changes in grid infrastructure to incorporate DG. The UK grid infrastructure is based on a centralised network, and significant upgrades are required to accommodate increasing distributed generation. The technical and cost implications of increased small scale generation on the electricity network were discussed, with comparisons drawn from different EU countries.
A key issue was Feed in Tariffs, which were only introduced in the UK towards the end of the MASSIG project, and their impact on the participation of small scale generators in the electricity market. The economic sustainability of the tariffs were discussed in light of current developments in Germany and Denmark, along with the effects of reductions in tariff levels and duration on the operation of small scale generators.
The current opportunities in the UK electricity market were presented to the audience by Joseph Mutale, with the recommended option for small scale generators being Short Term Operating Reserve.
Alastair Martin’s presentation gave an insight into the operation of a virtual power station and the live aggregation of small scale generators, which led to a discussion of the importance of location and generation characteristics in the formation of clusters.
Anders Andersen explained with examples from Denmark how to successfully trade CHP plants into both spot and regulating power market, giving an idea about market potentials realised even today.

The seminar was attended by university contacts engaged in energy related research, renewable energy businesses, and public bodies responsible for promoting sustainability and stimulating economic development. The programme and discussions provided a stimulus for further action on this topic in the UK, and informed attendees about the progress of the MASSIG project.

The situation in the UK is of special interest as the framework conditions are facing rapid changes such as introduction of a feed-in tariff for small scale renewable and low-carbon electricity generation, and the Distribution Price Control Review 5, creating new incentives for connecting small scale renewables to the electricity distribution network. Both regulations entered into force on April 1st, 2010, falling into the final stage of the MASSIG project.