Lower-costing energy systems that also produce less carbon could soon be available to households and businesses across the UK. This will be due to local electricity grid operators including smart flexibility services in a revised electricity network infrastructure.
The ‘Flexibility Commitment’ made by the Energy Networks Association aims to reduce grid congestion resulting from increased electricity demand. Another issue being contended with concerns how many distributed energy projects are being connected to the network. It is believed that more smart flexibility is the answer to that problem too.
New Energy Infrastructure Cost Reductions
Renewable energy generation, as well as demand-side flexibility and other energy efficiency measures will be introduced under the commitment. This more flexible energy strategy will be provided via services offered through local electricity operators.
The new energy strategy will work in tandem with traditional energy generation network infrastructure such as substations, transformers and pylons. Combined with the new and flexible energy infrastructure it could save £8 billion over the course of the next decade.
New Energy Markets and New Opportunities
The Chief Executive Officer for the Energy Networks Association, David Smith, said of the local electricity operators’ Flexibility Commitment, “Like so many other parts of our world right now, the public is starting to see that their energy system is undergoing an important digital transformation.
“Our energy networks are committed to operating an efficient, smart, clean energy system that is fit for the British public. Our commitment will enable new energy markets across the country, creating new opportunities for people to further benefit from the latest smart technologies being used in their homes and businesses.”
Mr Smith added that the new strategy would be “…good for the public, good for the system and good for [the country’s] decarbonisation goals.”
New Energy Flexibility Measures
Demand-side flexibility allows consumers to sign up to special tariffs which benefit them for changing how they use electricity. This demand-side response will make use of smart meters and other technologies and can benefit both households and small businesses.
More efficient energy storage measures are also in order. This will likely be in the form of batteries that absorb and store energy when it is plentiful. If there is more energy produced than is need in that moment, then it will be diverted into the battery. Then that stored energy can be used at a much lower cost than the original energy generating source. This could be especially useful for businesses that use high amounts of energy during certain periods of time. Extra energy generated that isn’t used no longer need be wasted, but instead can be recycled to reduce costs.
Locally Distributed Generation
Another new energy flexibility measure to be introduced is that of distributed generation. Low carbon electricity generators can be located at premises such as small businesses or even households. Energy generated right where it is needed via technology such as rooftop-mounted solar PV panels massively reduces costs.
The main reason for this significant cost-reduction is that locally-generated energy doesn’t need to be transported. There is also the possibility to sell unused energy back to the grid for a profit.
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