npower Business Solutions
Things are constantly changing in the energy sector with many new surprises such as the new Demand Turn Up scheme from National Grid. The idea is that during periods of high renewable generation when the Grid finds it has more energy than it can use, energy-intensive consumers would be encouraged to use more. By either turning off onsite generation from, for example, combined heat and power (CHP) plant or by running an energy-intensive process, such as smelting at a foundry or pumping water at a sewage treatment plant.
A pilot scheme which will run over the summer when wind and solar generation can be high and electricity demand is typically low. Participating businesses will be notified in advance of the extra available energy then, if they respond, they can boost productivity for minimal extra cost plus receive a payment for doing so.
Currently, on very windy days, when output from renewable generation is high the National Grid will turn large power stations down. Or wind turbines themselves may need to be turned off, simply because the power they generate cannot be used.
Filling the energy storage gap
As energy storage technologies become viable utilising energy management solutions it’s likely that storing this extra renewable energy until needed becomes a more cost-effective option. I recently blogged about a 640kWh battery storage system being trailed by Western Power Distribution at a solar farm in Somerset.
Although battery storage systems are predicted to become more efficient and the current high costs to fall, they are not yet able to provide a wide-scale commercial solution to balancing supply and demand. So it will be interesting to see how National Grid’s Demand Turn Up scheme fares.