The UK non-domestic Demand Side Response energy market is leading the way on international efforts to increase the use of renewable energy, reduce carbon footprints and combat climate change, according to an article in the upcoming November 2018 issue of the journal Energy Policy
Researchers from the University of Nottingham conducted interviews with experts in energy policy, energy industry organisations of all sizes, academics and third-sector organisations to find out how different communities within the sector are shaping the future of UK DSR.
They found that the UK is an early adopter of DSR on the international stage and that within the UK energy market, non-domestic DSR in particular is healthy compared with uptake by domestic energy users so far.
Why is business Demand Side Response in the UK so healthy?
UK business Demand Side Response benefits in several ways from commercial organisations adopting new technologies to manage their energy consumption both actively and passively (e.g. using controllers that automatically switch off idle devices) and monitoring their energy consumption to identify areas where more savings can be made.
The researchers write in their Energy Policy article: “Non-domestic DSR was seen to be in good health, with expansion across both industry and larger commercial operators.
“For such operators, using equipment with large but potentially flexible demand (e.g. industry using heating processes, commercial operators using refrigeration), they not only have a clear financial case for DSR due to the scale of their energy consumption, but crucially through well established audit cultures, have the practical means to achieving it.”
How are end-users shaping the UK DSR market?
End-users – both domestic and commercial – are by definition at the core of the UK DSR market, representing the ‘Demand Side’ part of the technology’s name.
Whereas in the past, end-users consumed electricity whenever they needed it, in whatever quantity they desired, DSR is about moderating that consumption to alleviate pressure on the mains grid at peak times.
This in turn means that power stations – including renewable generators whose output can vary due to environmental conditions – are not expected to simply increase output by a theoretically limitless amount in response to mains grid demand.
“Key to realising DSR’s promise is the end-user,” the researchers write. “Traditionally, whether domestic or non-domestic, the ‘end’ user has been just that – an isolated, terminal node consuming energy as and when required to meet their needs, which the grid is constantly managed to provide.
“By contrast, DSR requires that this actor becomes an integrated, dynamic component in the balancing of supply and demand.”
Why is Demand Side Response good for end-users?
The power stations still adjust their output as required – meaning that the stability of the grid depends on a combination of both Supply Side Response and Demand Side Response.
And it’s not only commercial users who are being asked to manage their energy consumption more intelligently, as the government-funded rollout of smart meters for domestic properties demonstrates.
Through these concerted efforts, homes and businesses alike are helping to improve the UK’s energy security, insulate against changing energy import wholesale prices, and reduce the carbon footprint of households and commercial premises.
By adopting intelligent DSR technologies, you can meet and exceed your environmental obligations, while reducing your expenditure on energy bills – a win-win scenario for the UK businesses who are leading the way on non-domestic DSR both within the country and on the global stage.