Saturday, 24 December 2016

Demand Response - How much is it a Behavioural rather than a Technical issue?

The above diagram is from a recent UK Government report on the use of smart meters to bring about demand response. It highlights the technical options for domestic load control. 
Below is a picture from the site of Oracle Opower, which shows their approach to influencing consumer behaviour.

The challenge now is to integrate the two, the technical and the behavioural approaches, to bring about significant behaviour change and load shifting.

Early adopters - I am one, are you? - can already do much of the load shifting without smart meters, and then tell others they are doing it. I do it, do you, is an effective message for us to spread.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Happy Christmas!

Good news!

In the two weeks from Christmas day, peak electricity demand is lower because so many businesses are closed -so you can have plenty of LED lights on to cheer things up!

You're not getting away without a graph though! The dots on the right hand chart mark the average electricity demand in UK for the two weeks of Christmas last year, nice and low! Daily chart is for 21st Dec 2016 taken at 11am.

Friday, 16 December 2016

My latest traffic light

This is the latest iteration of the light bulb 

It glows:
  • Green from midnight to 7am
  • Red from 3pm to 8pm
  • Amber at other times
If everyone had one, and shifted their discretionary consumption from the red to the green periods, we could avoid two more Hinkley C's!

Let me know if you want one!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

How cheap does storage need to be?

When I mention domestic demand response I increasingly hear storage as being the solution.
But how cheap does storage need to be to break even? Turnkey solutions at the moment cost around £500 per kWh. To get the cost down to a retail price of domestic electricity of 12p/unit, each kWh of storage would need to be used around 4000 times, that's once a day every day for 11 years. 
  • The battery and equipment would need to last for 4000 cycles before it broke even.
  • If it did, the minimum time to break even is 11 years.
  • This assumes the electricity going in to the battery is "free" i.e. from a PV installation where no other use for the electricity can be found.
In practice the load factor would be much less than 100% on a daily basis, thus reducing the returns further.

The price would need to at least halve to get any chance of a six year payback, which is what was needed from FITs to get mass PV installation going.

Do batteries last for 4000 cycles? 500-1000 cycles is more typical for lead acid.

Why not just shift the time at which you use electricity - it's virtually free to do so!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Are we enthralled to our beliefs about consumer behaviour?

Are we enthralled to the idea that customers are passive or coin-operated?

We seem to assume that:

  • Domestic electricity consumers will not change their behaviour much 
  • Even if bribed to, the change will only be slight
  • We are saddled with the shape of the daily demand curve
  • Only a technical fix can save us from a future of expensive nuclear or climate-altering carbon based power

Perhaps we could instead assume:

  • Consumers are intelligent and responsible people
  • We do not want to have expensive and climate-altering electricity
  • We would be happy to make small and convenient changes to our consumption habits  
  • The costs associated with bringing about such a change are very small in relation to the alternative
Comments please!
Please share this!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Gen Game makes demand response fun!

Gen Game are working in the North East of England to encourage domestic demand response - as an app-based game!
The sooner it is available in the South West, the happier I will be.
Or should we do our own version?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Peak demand remains under 50GW, but a significant morning peak has appeared

Here is the UK electricity production chart for the 24 hours to 11:15am on 1st December 2016.
Demand so far this week has peaked below 50GW, (49.7GW at 5pm on 29.11.16) which is good considering the very low temperatures.However there is now a significant morning peak from 7am to around 12noon.
So let's all shift our discretionary demand into the off peak period, midnight to 7am please.
Be saintly - even if you are not on Economy 7, you will be rewarded in heaven if not before!