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Delivering a low-carbon electricity system in a liberalised market

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Abstract

This chapter discusses the challenges of delivering a low-carbon electricity system in mainland Great Britain. GB’s integrated network was established by the Electricity (Supply) Act 1926. And was privatised by the Electricity Act 1989.

The industry in 2015 consists of more than 300 companies. Eight are involved in large-scale power generation, one operates the 400 kV and 275 kV high-voltage transmission network and six operate extensive distribution networks at 132 kV or lower voltages. There are six major electricity retailers who purchase energy from generators in half-hourly auctions and sell it to private and commercial consumers. In addition, there are many smaller generators and local distribution companies.

The chapter discusses the challenges of moving from a centralised generating system to one reliant on thousands of individual generators in a nominally privatised and liberalised market