Demand side response could remove 9.8 GW from grid

The UK could save billions in energy costs through businesses more effectively managing their electricity demand and onsite generation, according to a new report.

The report by the Association for Decentralised Energy claims that the country could save up to six per cent of Britain‘s peak electricity requirement, or 9.8 GW by shifting power usage and running backup generators.
Association for Decentralized Energy
The report identifies potentially ten times more potential than the 1 GW projected,à‚  while saving consumers à‚£600 million each year by 2020 and à‚£2.3 billion by 2035.

In particular the association pointed to 5.3 GW that could be provided by getting businesses to run their existing small-scale power generators such as combined heat and power plants or diesel generators, whichà‚ provide backup power for sites such asà‚ hospitals.

The association also called for inclusion of demand response in subsidy schemes already on offer to other energy sectors generating power

This included through the Government’s capacity market scheme, which awards subsidies to companies that can guarantee they can provide power capacity to help meet peak demand for future winters.

The ADE said that procuring 4GW of demand-side response capacity through the scheme could prevent the “wasteful” construction of 1,300 new standalone diesel generators and save up to à‚£2.3bn by 2035.

But it complained that proposed new demand-side response schemes ” which could involve utilising existing diesel generators ” were losing out to companies that proposed building new diesel generators, because the latter were offered longer subsidy contracts.

Tim Rotheray, director of the ADE, said: “Keeping the lights on and our factories running is becoming increasingly challenging as the electricity market changes. We are building more wind and solar, which cannot always be depended on, and we are seeing our traditional large nuclear and coal power plants close down.

“If we are to meet this challenge successfully, we need to access the enormous resource that energy users can provide, whether they are NHS hospitals, pharmaceutical manufacturers or your local retail store.

“Unfortunately, we too often miss the true size of this potential, and design our systems to meet the needs of an older, less flexible, and more centralised energy system.”

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