A Scottish energy company has entered the current debate on the ‘smart energy revolution’ sparked by the GMB and National Grid. The energy-workers trade union has described National Grid’s view that it can avoid winter power cuts with a ‘smart energy revolution’ as ‘fanciful nonsense’. In response, Dr Alastair Martin, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Edinburgh-based Flexitricity, said: “After eight years of using demand-side response (DSR) to fill in when nuclear power stations fail, I do not understand why the GMB believes that Hinkley C nuclear power station and DSR are competing alternatives. They’re not. “If built, Hinkley’s job will be to churn out as much electricity as possible, round the clock. It won’t be flexible. But in electricity, supply and demand have to match every second. It’s the job of demand-side response to deliver that, by moving consumption around, away from times of stress and towards times of excess. That makes the whole grid more economical, more secure, and greener. “Secondly, demand-side response is needed whether Hinkley C is built or not. “Building Hinkley does change the shape of what DSR has to achieve. Hinkley will be the single biggest element in the national transmission network, so a sudden failure at Hinkley would be a big loss to the system. Failures like that do occur; they’re part of real-world engineering. At Flexitricity, we’ve been using DSR to support the Grid during failures for eight years now. “We’ve also shown that small flexible generators – like the energy-efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems found at many community energy schemes – can back off their generation to make space for wind and solar. They’ll do the same for Hinkley. That’s just as much part of DSR as dealing with peaks and power station failures. “And thirdly, National Grid’s recent announcement is about a push into a new area: DSR in homes, while Flexitricity concentrates on commercial, industrial and public-sector premises.
Scottish Energy News 6th Sept 2016 read more »