Britain could save billions of pounds in energy costs by paying businesses to shift their power usage or run their backup generators instead of building new power plants, an industry report has found. Business energy users could ease strain on the grid by 9.8 gigawatts (GW) – a sixth of peak UK power demand, or more three times the capacity of the proposed Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) said. National Grid and the National Infrastructure Commission have both backed increased use of such techniques, known as “demand side response” services, to help keep the lights on. So far as little as 1GW of such capacity is thought to be on offer, but the ADE, which represents groups providing demand side response services, claimed there was scope for an almost ten-fold increase. The group estimated that it would be economically viable for industrial users to temporarily cut their demand by 2.8GW, by scheduling power-intensive processes for different times of day. Commercial users such as retailers or public sector organisations could provide another 1.7GW of capacity, for example by temporarily turning off refrigeration units and letting the insulation keep goods cold. A further 5.3GW could be provided by getting businesses to run their existing small-scale power generators such as combined heat and power plants or diesel generators, which provide backup power for sites such as hospitals.
Telegraph 19th July 2016 read more »