Maximizing benefits of renewable energy resources
A new solution shifts electricity consumption away from peak times, balances the grid and reduces the need for increased energy production. By adjusting consumption to match fluctuations in renewable energy generation, the solution maximizes the use of wind and solar power generation. Less transmission capability is needed and capital tied-up in reserve energy resources can be directed towards smart energy development.
Fluctuations in energy consumption increase energy costs and emissions in a traditional energy system. In addition, the grid can't work unless production and consumption are equal at all times. Ensuring feasible costs and maintaining security of supply make it paramount to balance energy production and consumption.Traditional power plants ensure balancing by employing automation or professionals in the control room to make sure that the level of production matches the level of consumption.
This model is unsustainable because centralized solutions do not scale into an environment of distributed renewable resources. Growing by utilizing traditional energy sources is not feasible because of depleting fuel supplies or growing emissions.
To solve this problem, Empower IM, Elenia, There Corporation, Helen, Fortum, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Tampere University of Technology and VTT set out to build Demand Response - a complete solution that would enable energy consumption to follow market signals, making previously static metering points behave in an active way.
The solution was developed in the Smart Grids and Energy Markets (SGEM) program under the CLEEN Ltd (Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation for Energy and Environment).
"Demand Response combines everything, from metering points to electricity suppliers and all the parts in between, into a complete value chain. It is soon going to be piloted with specific energy suppliers and networks," says SGEM Program Manager Jani Valtari from Cleen Ltd.
Creating a solution like this has been discussed in the academia and energy industry for years but before recently it remained on the level of theoretical papers or was implemented manually in large volume instances.
Demand Response can be used in the real world of dynamic energy markets, distributed roles and large numbers of customer sites. It elevates customers today to be real participants in the future smart grids and energy markets developing right now.
The solution is most beneficial on the market- and national-level scope. Implementing it into energy systems would enhance planning and implementation of the balance in production and consumption.
Maximizing renewable energy generation
Without the solution, renewable energy production needs to be limited as has been done in previous implementations around Europe.
Improving SMEs competitiveness
The solution also allows for better planning of interim production for small and medium sized industry sites.
Market signals to shift home consumption
For instance, Empower IM together with There Corporation are developing a solution that incorporates a device that would enable shifts in a household’s energy consumption based on the market signals. This would deliver efficient heating or air conditioning with less emissions.
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