Future of Active Network Management in Electrical Networks
May 17, 2023

Mahmoud Elkazaz & Andrew Eviston

Active Network Management (ANM) is a concept that has been gaining increasing attention in recent years as a means of improving the efficiency and reliability of electricity networks and avoiding or deferring costly network reinforcements. ANM is essentially an intelligent system that enables network operators to monitor, control and optimize the flow of electricity across the network in real-time, responding to changes in demand and supply in a flexible and dynamic way.

ANM Vs. traditional networks

Traditionally, electricity networks have been managed in a passive way, with power flowing from generators to consumers in a relatively uncontrolled manner. However, with the rise of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, the pattern of electricity generation and consumption has become much more variable, making it increasingly difficult to manage the network effectively using traditional methods.

ANM addresses this challenge by allowing network operators to actively manage the flow of electricity in response to changing conditions. This can involve a range of techniques, including the use of advanced monitoring and control systems, the deployment of energy storage technologies, and the integration of demand-side management measures such as demand response[1].

Key benefits of ANM

One of the key benefits of ANM is that it enables network operators to better integrate renewable energy sources into the grid. By managing the flow of electricity in real-time, ANM can help to smooth out the variability in renewable energy output, making it easier to balance supply and demand and avoid issues such as overloading or under-voltage. This, in turn, can help to reduce the need for costly and environmentally damaging backup power sources such as gas-fired power plants.

Another important advantage of ANM is that it can help to improve the resilience and reliability of electricity networks. By detecting and responding to faults and outages in real-time, ANM can help to minimize the impact of such events on consumers and reduce the time taken to restore power in the event of an outage. This can be particularly important in areas prone to extreme weather events or other disruptions[2].

Many Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are using ANM as a way to connect generation without having to reinforce the networks, i.e., new generators can connect but they will be constrained if they would cause overloads on the network. This is completed depending on the order of connection, i.e., the latest to connect will be the first to be constrained[3].

Future of ANM

The future of ANM is likely to be shaped by a range of technological, regulatory and market trends. It is clear that ANM will play an increasingly important role in managing electricity networks, as we seek to transition toward a more sustainable and resilient energy system. Here are some of the key developments that are likely to influence the future of ANM:[4]

  • Increasing adoption of renewable energy sources
  • Advances in digital technology
  • Development of energy storage technologies
  • Regulatory support
  • Emergence of new market models


In conclusion, Active Network Management is an important and emerging concept that has the potential to transform the way electricity networks are managed and operated. By enabling network operators to monitor, control and optimize the flow of electricity in real-time, ANM can help improve the efficiency, reliability and resilience of electricity networks, while also facilitating the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid. As such, ANM is likely to play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the energy sector, as we transition toward an energy system powered by clean, renewable generation.

How PSC can help

PSC brings together worldwide experience and global leaders in their field to develop innovative solutions that allow utilities and energy companies to thrive. This enables PSC to provide excellent value to our clients whilst working to deliver our vision for a sustainable power system. We combine power network experts, operational technologies experience and extensive knowledge of distributed energy resources to address energy industry challenges.

Please find out more about our capabilities in this area and contact us to talk about working together.

[1] What is Active Network Management | Roadnight Taylor
[2] Active Network Management (ANM): Opportunities and risks for Smart Local Energy Systems – Energy Systems Catapult
[3]  Energy network association, Flexibility Connections: Explainer and Q&A, 2021
[4] What is Active Network Management (ANM)? — Solutions for renewables and energy storage (argandsolutions.com)