‘Demand more electricity’ says National Grid

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The National Grid will pay some large energy users to increase electricity demand when there is an excess supply this summer, through their Demand Turn Up (DTU) scheme.

Organisations that felt they could meet the qualifying criteria applied to the scheme and, following an auction, six large electricity users have been selected. They will now be paid to increase their demand or reduce their own energy production, if they are generating power through their own solar panels for example.

Energy generation is becoming increasingly intermittent and unpredictable, particularly through wind and solar PV generators. It makes balancing supply and demand more challenging for the National Grid. Over the summer period, there will be times when demand falls and more energy is being produced than is needed. That is when the DTU scheme kicks in.

The scheme is running from 27th March to 28th October (British Summertime), 2017, and over a night time operating window every day and a daytime operating window during weekends and bank holidays.

National Grid say that the scheme is a ‘footroom’ service designed to manage periods of high generation and low demand. They expect this year’s footroom requirement to be around 3-5GW. They also describe the DTU scheme as “an economic solution to managing excess renewable generation when demand for electricity is low”.

Energy expert insight

“Given the need for a stable electricity supply system, a ‘compensated’ demand response system for when the Grid is over or under supplied is something we will have to live with. Even if it seems counter intuitive.

If grid-scale energy storage is developed further in future then the need to encourage consumers to use more electricity at certain times, hopefully, will reduce.” Alastair Fells MEI, Incorporated Eng, PG Dip Fuel Tech, BSc Hons.

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