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Future Power System Architecture (FPSA)

Why we need whole system engineering for economic and sustainable growth

The Future Power Systems Architecture (FPSA) programme takes a whole system approach – considering the traditional power system together with the installations, appliances and devices on the customers’ side of the meter – and how it interacts with other energy vectors such as transport and heat.

FPSA is delivered by an independent expert body with extensive technical, commercial, regulatory, digital expertise and experience. It has a strong customer perspective.

The aim of the Future Power Systems Architecture (FPSA) programme, a collaboration between the IET and the Energy Systems Catapult, is to identify the new capabilities required by the electricity system in 2030.

Transforming the UK energy system to be clean, secure and affordable requires integrating and optimising solutions and innovations in a rapidly changing sector.

New assets, new services, new risks and most importantly new requirements from customers are all shaping a very different set of opportunities and challenges for the sector.

Decarbonisation is a primary driver of this change, but it is reinforced by the trend towards decentralised energy and the advance of digitalisation. The challenge is to facilitate the transformation of the power system in an efficient and timely way that delivers value to customers.

Key points

The key conclusions of this project were:

  • Functions can be directly linked to Government Decarbonisation Objectives, the timescales of which highlight the urgency of Function implementation where non-delivery would be likely to result in those objectives not being met.
  • The Functions are highly interdependent. Each Function must be developed and implemented alongside many, sometimes all, other Functions in order to be successful.
  • Functions have varying levels of solution uncertainty which needs to be resolved before the solution can be planned. The interaction between Functions means that uncertainty on a subset of Functions impacts the planning and delivery of all Functions.
  • It is important to scope and understand the uncertain Functions early, as only then can the 35 Functions be planned and the work to implement them be understood.

A list of functions that need to be prioritised can be created by identifying those functions that are both required for a shorter-term government objective and have a high degree of solution uncertainty.

Future Power System Architecture (FPSA)