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Aurora Spring Forum 2020

After another year of record-busting temperatures, climate change has rarely been far from the headlines. With protesters increasingly taking to the streets to demand action, governments across Europe have begun to adopt ambitious targets to reach net zero by 2050, or in some cases even sooner.

To be clear, decarbonisation will require a radical transformation of the energy industry, encompassing everything from supply and demand dynamics to fundamental questions of market design. The Aurora Spring Forum will take stock of where we are and where we are heading.

The Aurora Spring Forum has grown into one of the leading gatherings of energy executives and senior decision makers in Europe, attracting more than 300 participants in 2019. It is a full day of thought-provoking analysis, debate and networking deliberately held at the unique setting at the University of Oxford. The day will conclude with a champagne reception and a formal dinner in an Oxford college dining hall.

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Commentary

Power outages caused widespread disruption on Friday 9th August in Great Britain, after two large generators dropped off the system and back-up capacity was not sufficient to stabilise the grid frequency.

Potential contributing factors include low inertia due to high wind and low thermal generation (though wind variability in itself does not initially appear to be a cause), insufficient flexible capacity, and oversensitive plant protection mechanisms.

National Grid gave the all clear to the DNOs within 15 minutes of the event and most affected areas saw power restored within an hour, however they are now under pressure to answer questions around the likelihood of repeat occurrences, the procured volume of services such as frequency response, and reasons for disconnecting critical infrastructure.

If National Grid is to meet its stated intention of being able to operate a zero-carbon system by 2025, it will likely need to significantly increase its procurement of flexible capacity.

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Aurora Energy Research provides data and analytics on UK, German, European, and global energy markets. The result is bankable intelligence that drives commercial lending and investment decisions, and national policy formulation.

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