Decentralized energy called into action to bridge UK power gap

National Grid called on UK businesses to meet the country’s first security of supply warning on October 31st last.

National Grid issued its first notice under the new Capacity Market scheme warning that at 4:30pm that afternoon there could be insufficient electricity production supply to meet the country’s demand.

In response, 800 MW of demand reduction and on-site power generation capacity quickly prepared to fill the gap. These 800MW have security of supply contracts under this year’s Capacity Market Transitional Arrangements, which was only available to demand response and local generators.
Dr Tim Rotheray
Nearly 90% of the Transitional Auction capacity comes from industrial and commercial energy users, such as Tata Steel. These energy customers are ready to provide hundreds of megawatts of demand side response and highly-efficient combined heat and power (CHP) by managing their processes intelligently and flexibly to ensure the lights stay on.

ADE Director Dr Tim Rotheray said: “It is a testament to the growing demand response industry that energy users up and down the country are ready at a moment’s notice to meet our national energy security needs.”

“These agile businesses will collectively receive £19m to keep the lights on this winter, without disrupting their day-to-day manufacturing processes. By participating in the Transitional Auction, they have gained a new revenue stream boosting their competiveness at a time of rising energy costs. Our analysis shows there is nearly 10 GW of business led flexibility which could help deliver in these events, found on manufacturing sites, hospitals and retail stores right across the country.”

“By using these businesses to secure the electricity supply, the UK is avoiding costly new energy infrastructure which helps keep all energy consumer’s bills down. Today’s events show that by putting these users at the heart of the energy system, we will make it more cost-effective, reduce carbon emissions, and give customers a chance to participate in the system and take control of their energy use. As the Government considers its industrial strategy, flexible businesses and technologies such as CHP that help to drive efficiency while improving the competitiveness of British industry, should become the backbone of any plan.”

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