The ADE is the leading voice within the decentralised energy sector. They champion creating a more cost effective, efficient and user-orientated energy system using technologies such as combined heat and power, district heating and demand side services. With over 100 members the ADE brings together interested parties from across the sector to develop a strong, dynamic and sustainable environment for a range of technologies including combined heat and power, district heating networks and demand side energy services, including demand response. In light of National Grid seeking back up supplies we asked their Director Dr Tim Rotheray (pictured) a few questions.
For the layperson, what are demand side services?
Demand side services are used to help the grid to balance supply and demand. Companies take signals to help balance the grid by either reducing demand (for example turning machines/lighting off), turning back up generators on, or taking excess energy from the network (turning machines on). Most businesses can provide demand side services without it having any impact on their day to day operations.
What impact could they have on the market and at what scale?
Demand response is happening today across the industrial and commercial sectors, but significant potential remains untapped. Research published this past month by DECC shows that there are gigawatts of additional potential in the industrial and commercial sectors. There is a need for both regulatory changes and market education to capture this potential.
What holds demand side services from being more widely used/deployed?
Firstly, there is a need to design the simplest, most effective way for those services to be brought forward in a cost-effective manner. Currently, schemes are often too complicated for customers to navigate their way through.
Secondly, there is a need to ensure a level playing field, so that demand side options can compete fairly with supply side options, which currently is not the case in schemes like the Capacity Market. And lastly, there is a need to improve customer awareness and education, so business can better understand how demand response works in practice, how it can return value to them, and how it can strengthen their role in a more cost-effective and productive energy system.
Visit the Association for Decentralised Energy website here.