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Continuous connection of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) technology on a “fit and forget” basis may lead to inefficiently low utilization of generation and network assets. In order to mitigate this effect, a reappraisal of the technical, regulatory, and commercial frameworks that shape decisions on future network design, investment, operation, and pricing are required. The transition of distribution network operation from passive to active would facilitate cost effective integration of DER and an efficient evolution towards a low carbon electricity system. In this context, this paper summarizes the results from a range of quantitative studies on the UK electricity system that have been carried out to assess the benefits of active management of distribution networks.