The UK will need smart technologies to combine variable renewables and inflexible nuclear power plants and balance demand and supply in real time.
That’s the view of Goran Strbac, Professor of Electrical Energy Systems at Imperial College London, who spoke to ELN at the launch of the Smart Power Industries Alliance in Westminster this week, which aims to create new markets for smart technologies.
When asked about the challenges the UK faces as it moves to a smarter energy system, he said: “The core objective of all of this is to facilitate cost effective transition to a low carbon system and given that the UK is an island, our plan is to combine variable renewables and inflexible nuclear plants and that’s where the big challenge is, that’s why we need smart [technologies].
“[There will be] massive savings if we can change the way in which we balance demand and supply in real time and also manage the infrastructure flows and so forth, energy flows, that would reduce the cost and get us there at the lowest cost.”
Mr Strbac added the UK will face some of the challenges ahead of continental Europe and while it is a “big issue”, he believes the problem can be turned into an opportunity by moving to a smarter system and sharing the knowledge with other parts of the world.