Demand side response (DSR) technology could help meet the UK’s energy grid requirements faster than a conventional power station.
That’s according to new research, which suggests the speed of response to changes in supply and demand will be “more important than ever” as the nation’s energy system moves away from centralised generation.
National Grid, Open Energi and Cardiff University looked at the feasibility of DSR to provide a significant share of balancing services using the ‘Dynamic Demand’ system.
Developed by Open Energi, it automatically manages the energy use of businesses’ assets such as air conditioning units, heating and pumps in response to changes in the amount of electricity available on the grid to help balance it.
The field tests showed the technology could provide full response in less than two seconds compared to five to 10 seconds for a thermal generator.
Nikola Gargov, Power Systems Engineer at National Grid said: “Tomorrow’s electricity landscape will look very different to that of today and the traditional assumption of needing large-scale fossil fuel power stations for base-load generation may change going forwards.
“Demand Side Response will play an increasingly vital role in building a secure, sustainable and affordable electricity system for the future. If just 5% of peak demand is met by DSR solutions, the response would be equivalent to the generation of a new nuclear power station.”
Earlier this year, National Grid said it plans to invest up to £400 million by 2020 in DSR initiatives to help balance the grid.