Residential Flexibility the Key to Decarbonisation
British households could make savings of over £200 on their annual energy bills if there was more of a route to market for residential flexibility with regard to accessing grid balancing revenue streams, new research has revealed.
It is believed that consumers are being blocked from making such savings. This is due to current restrictions on residential flexibility. This includes taking advantage of energy storage devices as well as other renewable energy technology.
National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios
Energy firm OVO conducted the study alongside Imperial College London by examining a selection of energy system scenarios based on those suggested by the National Grid itself. To achieve the results, they played out the scenarios while incorporating more residential demand flexibility. This was to see how much difference it would make. In the most ambitious scenario, they discovered that more residential flexibility in how energy is generated and stored could reduce the cost of decarbonisation by nearly £7 billion per year.
Such savings would be made by reducing the amount of money invested in network infrastructure. Enabling more households to switch entirely to cheaper renewable energy technologies. The massive reduction in the cost of decarbonisation would also be aided by smarter electric heating and energy storage, as well as the likes of bi-directional charging of electric vehicles.
A Sustainably Powered Future
The Director of Strategy for OVO, Toby Ferenczi, spoke about the need for an intelligent decarbonisation strategy, saying,
“Electrification and the intelligent use of residential energy technologies are absolutely critical to bringing down emissions and powering the future sustainably. This research shows that households up and down the country can each play a role in creating a balanced, flexible and almost completely renewable energy system while at the same time saving over £200 a year.”
The £200 figure was worked out according to an average of the best and worst case Future Energy scenarios. The research revealed that even the least ambitious of those scenarios could still save around £1 billion.
Goran Strbac, an EKERC researcher at Imperial College London, also spoke about the need for more flexibility. Mr Strbac said,
“This analysis demonstrates that cost effective decarbonisation can be achieved. Not only through the deployment of low-cost renewable energy such as wind and solar but also by improving system flexibility through the use of behind-the-meter technology.
“Achieving this would require changes in regulations and market rules that the UK should act on.”
Ofgem Making Moves Towards More Flexibility
The Government regulator for gas and electricity markets has already began providing wider access to the balancing markets of the country’s energy systems by approving the P344 proposal. This will introduce a regulation change allowing entities without a supply licence to take part in the Europe-wide energy balancing platform. The regulation change is due to be implemented from the end of February 2019.
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