Energy Generation and Distribution

Energy generation and distribution is a sub-theme of resource management

Energy generation and distribution is the process through which power, generally electricity and gas, is produced by utility companies and delivered through a transmission grid by distribution network operators (DNOs) to end users (industrial and domestic consumers). Generation can be from 'conventional' sources (coal, gas and nuclear power stations) and from renewable sources (water, wind, biofuels, PV and solar).

Generation is conventionally large scale, but is becoming more localized through small industrial and domestic installations. Distribution is predominantly through the National Grid (gas and electricity).

Management of the generation and distribution, particularly of electricity, will be strongly influenced by the emerging development of smart grids.


Standards in energy generation and distribution ensure the provision of a consistent, flexible and reliable power supply to the consumer with appropriate safety measures and accurate, timely customer billing.

Standards within energy generation and distribution can be divided into three main categories – grid and infrastructure, conventional energy generation and renewable energy.


Grid and Infrastructure

Grid and infrastructure covers:

  • The quality specification of the power supply (gas quality and electricity) at all stages
  • The structures, materials and components used for the distribution grid for overhead electrical lines, towers and gas pipelines
  • Allowable variations of the distributed and delivered end product.


Standards for grid and infrastructure provide:

  • Guidance to enable connection of generating plants to the UK's electricity distribution networks
  • Power line communication systems for carrier systems operating over electricity grids which provide a platform for commercial interoperability for all types of residential, commercial and industrial networks
  • Consistent requirements and testing of electric metering equipment and communications systems for network

Links to standards related to Grid and Infrastructure

BS EN 50160

Voltage characteristics of electricity supplied by public electricity networks.

BS EN 60038

CENELEC standard voltages.

BS EN 61850

Communication networks and systems for power utility automation.

BS EN 62488

Power line communication systems for power utility applications.

BS EN 50470

Electricity metering equipment (a.c.).

PD CEN/TR 16061

Gas meters. Smart gas meters.

Links to other related materials

ER G83/2-single premises

Guide for ER G83/2 Single Premises Connections.

ER G83/2-multiple premises

Guide for ER G83/2 Multiple Premises Connections.


Conventional Energy Generation

Energy that has been used historically is known as conventional energy. Conventional energy is essentially produced from fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and oil — and nuclear energy.


Standards for conventional energy generation provide specifications and testing on received raw materials and products and the safety of supply, operation and distribution.

Links to standards related to Conventional Energy Generation

BS EN 589

Automotive fuels. LPG. Requirements and test methods.

BS 4250

Specification for commercial butane and commercial propane.

BS EN ISO 15403-1

Natural gas. Natural gas for use as a compressed fuel for vehicles. Designation of the quality.

BS 1016

Methods for analysis and testing of coal and coke.


Petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries. Sector-specific quality management systems. Requirements for product and service supply organizations.

BS 8701

Full ring ovalization test for determining the susceptibility to cracking of linepipe steels in sour service. Test method.

PD 8010-1  

Pipeline systems. Steel pipelines on land. Code of practice.

PD 8010-2  

Pipeline systems. Subsea pipelines. Code of practice.

PD 8010-3  

Pipeline systems. Steel pipelines on land. Guide to the application of pipeline risk assessment to proposed developments in the vicinity of major accident hazard pipelines containing flammables. Supplement to PD 8010-1:2004.

PD 8010-4

Pipeline systems. Steel pipelines on land and subsea pipelines. Code of practice for integrity management.

PD 8010-5 

Pipeline systems. Subsea pipelines. Guide to operational practice.


Renewable Energy

Renewable energy represents a huge opportunity to channel naturally occurring, inexhaustible resources - wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass – to meet our energy demands. Technological innovation, supported by standards, has increased the reliability of infrastructures and installations, enabling the production of clean, safe, sustainable energy.


Standards for renewable energy:

  • Provide design requirements
  • Guidance on planning and installation of energy generation systems and larger infrastructure projects such as power grid connection
  • Test methods to measure power performance
  • Safety requirements

Renewable energy standards are developed by experts for industry, reflecting stakeholder needs to provide requirements and guidance that enable the development of more efficient renewable energy projects, driving down costs.

Links to standards related to Renewable Energy

BS EN 62446-1

Photovoltaic (PV) systems. Requirements for testing, documentation and maintenance. Grid connected systems. Documentation, commissioning tests and inspection.

BS 5918

Solar heating systems for domestic hot water. Code of practice for design and installation.

BS EN 50308

Wind turbines. Protective measures. Requirements for design, operation and maintenance.

BS EN 61400-1

Wind turbines. Design requirements.

PD IEC/TS 62600-100

Marine energy. Wave, tidal and other water current converters. Electricity producing wave energy converters. Power performance assessment.

BS EN ISO 17225-1

Solid biofuels. Fuel specifications and classes. General requirements.

PAS 110

Specification for whole digestate, separated liquor and separated fibre derived from the anaerobic digestion of source-segregated biodegradeable materials. 

Electrical Energy Storage Systems

Electrical energy storage (EES) is one of the key technologies to cut peak energy demand, maintain reliability and improve power quality. EES technologies have proved their unique capabilities in coping with these critical characteristics of electricity, and will become indispensable in emerging markets with the integration of renewable energy, to achieve CO2 reduction and provide a vital component of Smart Grids.

Standards are currently in development for 2017 publication to provide planning and installation requirements for electrical properties of grid operation and energy and power supply security. Also in development are standards on specifying unit parameters and test methods for EES systems, guidance on environmental issues, and safety considerations.