Thursday, 21 December 2017

UK Peak Demand is still on a Downward Trend

From Regen SW Graphic of the month

The good news? - Peak UK demand is falling - thanks mainly to more efficient appliances, as well as the observance of triads by - in the main - large industrial users.

The bad news? - At home we largely ignore the stress on the system at peak times, and merrily carry on dishwashing and doing laundry at peak times - stop it!

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

What is important, cost or reliability of supply?

From World Economic Forum
Like the island of Mauritius, UK has an electricity supply system with reliability of well over 99.9%. This is unheard of in most of the less developed world.
Despite our lax and irresponsible use of electricity, we continue to throw money at the problem of peak demand.
In countries where this is not an option, the lights go out on a regular basis, and people suffer. Vaccines and other medicines are damaged through lack of refrigeration, children can't study, vital communication systems are disrupted.
Will we wait until we are in the same boat before we do enough  in UK to flatten our demand?
Its up to all of us to raise awareness.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Firm Frequency Response - what is it and why do we need it?

Our electricity system operates at a frequency of 50Hz, within limits as above.
Currently (no pun intended!) the National Grid is calling for suppliers to quote for fast response generation and/or storage to keep the frequency within its narrow boundaries.

There are two ways of looking at this: either

  •  it is a commendable and efficient way to address peak capacity issues, only paying for generation that is actually needed
  • it is an admission of failure to communicate to the consuming public the value of relatively modest changes in behaviour that would substantially reduce peak demand and render such projects unnecessary
Which view you take will depend on your faith in humanity's ability to respond effectively to calls for responsible action, or your belief in a centralised top-down system that makes no serious effort to raise public awareness of the value of behaviour change.

We are in danger of being reduced to cargo-cult status, where collectively we receive benefits from above that we can neither influence nor understand.