UK Struggles with Sagging Power Demand and Surging Renewables. Curtailment of U.K. wind farms surged as COVID-19 lockdowns depressed power demand. More batteries on the grid would help, but how? Smart electric vehicle charging and other flexibility services could have saved British billpayers £133 million ($104 million) this summer, power companies claim, as the U.K. grapples with surging renewables output. Low electricity demand during the COVID-19 lockdown and ever-increasing wind and solar capacities have seen U.K. power prices collapse this year — and curtailment costs soar. A pair of public holidays in May exacerbated the problem, sending power demand even lower. National Grid ESO, the U.K. system operator, expects to spend an additional £500 million to balance the grid over the course of this summer, much of it payments to wind farms to stop generating. In total, National Grid expects to spend £826 million to balance the grid in the period May to August. A host of power companies, including major suppliers Centrica and E.ON, sent an open letter this week calling on National Grid to accelerate the deployment of smart EV charging infrastructure, energy storage and other flexibility services, allowing homeowners to make their own contribution to the energy transition and perhaps share in the profits along the way. The companies are also pushing for consumer bills to reflect energy use at times of higher or lower demand.
GTM 10th June 2020 read more »