The nation’s energy system has been built around the principle that power stations will supply enough electricity to meet demand. Now, with the expansion of intermittent wind and solar farms, the industry is looking at ways of reversing that relationship, adjusting demand to match available supply. Last year the National Infrastructure Commission identified flexible demand as one of three innovations, alongside interconnectors and batteries, that could help to reduce the costs of Britain’s drive for green energy by up to £8 billion a year by 2030. “Demand-side response” schemes are already starting to be used by businesses, such as factories that can shift energy-intensive industrial processes to different times of day, or office blocks that can turn off air conditioning units over a half-hour peak. Yet the NIC also forecast a “significant” role for domestic demand. Harnessing new technology, it said, families could connect their household appliances to form part of a smart energy grid, programming their washing machines and dishwashers to run at times when power was plentiful and cheap.
Times 18th April 2017 read more »