Friday, 11 April 2014

Peak demand in UK and what we can do about it

Every day between November and February, at around 530pm our electricity demand in UK peaks by 7GW (7million one bar fires' worth) above the daytime plateau. The rise usually begins at around 330pm, and drops back down again by 8pm.
This peak, an average of about 300W per household, requires 7 large power stations to supply.

To meet it creates 8000 tonnes of C02 emissions, but that's not what I'm primarily concerned about.

The problem I'm concerned about is the fossil fuel power stations that will have to be built to replace those that are closed, whether gas or coal.

If that demand could be shifted to the early morning, or to mid morning if the sun is shining, then we can have a higher percentage of PV in our energy mix, and fewer fossil fuelled power stations.

The good news is that we can. We can do it now, and we can do it cheaply. 

So what's the catch? 

We all, or most of us, have to do something about it in our own homes. 

We don't have to use less electricity, although that would also be a good thing.

We just have to shift the times at which we use one or two appliances.

What we have to do is fit a time switch to our immersion heater. If we all did just that, it would largely solve the problem. For good measure we could also delay the use of our dishwasher or washing machine - many appliances are already equipped to do so easily. 

To learn more visit 

Let me know how you get on!