Energy system flexibility: Opportunities for investors

Building on the Flexibility in Great Britain project, which outlined the value flexible low carbon solutions can have in delivering a Net Zero energy sector in Great Britain, this report identifies the financial barriers that must be addressed to make finance more widely available.

Opportunities for investors report cover


Energy system flexibility is the ability to shift the time or location of energy consumption and generation. 

Flexibility presents a huge opportunity for the finance sector. The whole system analysis carried out for the Flexibility in Great Britain project, found that flexibility could save the British energy sector £16.7bn/yr in 2050 compared to a less flexible energy system scenario.

Investing in flexibility is an urgent need if we are to decarbonise the power sector by 2035 and reach Net Zero by 2050. A portfolio of flexibility services will be required and unlocking sufficient finance will be key to meeting deployment targets. However, whilst the whole system value that flexibility can deliver is widely recognised in Britain, current market design can make the commercial value of flexibility at a project level harder to establish.

Supported by Lloyds Bank, this report helps identify challenges and barriers to financing flexibility services and highlights actions which could increase the availability of finance for flexibility services.

Publication date: January 2022

Key findings

  • Flexibility services can access finance, but the challenge is accessing finance at the scale and low cost required to meet deployment need. This requires a better understanding of how investments which include flexibility can be structured and how public sector investment can be used to leverage private finance. 
  • Whilst flexibility markets are expanding, it is recognised by government and industry that several actions are needed to create long-term price signals for flexibility, fully account for carbon emissions from small scale flexibility assets, and improve access to flexibility markets
  • Continued communication between industry, government and the finance sector will be crucial in unlocking finance
Related links

Watch our report launch webinar to hear from thought leaders and key industry players from Bryt Energy, the Carbon Trust, Lloyds Bank, SSEN and the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) who outline the next steps energy and finance sector representatives can take to capture this opportunity in the UK.


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