Emissions, economy and security

The energy industry is moving fast. As older, polluting power stations are replaced by varying renewables, British industry needs an economic, efficient way to keep the lights on.

Demand response is our answer to the energy trilemma. As part of a diverse energy economy, demand response reduces emissions, saves money and helps secure electricity supplies.

Balancing supply and demand

Electricity consumers don’t ask permission every time they turn on a light. Large power stations can fail suddenly, and wind turbines only generate when there’s wind. So National Grid must always have something in reserve to keep the electricity system in perfect balance. 

A large volume of reserve comes from part-loaded fossil-fueled power stations, even though it is inefficient to burn gas or coal at part load. Additional reserve is provided by warming older power stations, which can take twelve hours or more. Often, this reserve is not used in the end.

Demand-side flexibility

It’s more efficient for electricity users and small generators to provide some of the flexibility that National Grid needs. 

This is where Flexitricity comes in. No fuel is burned when a standby or CHP generator, or a flexible load, is waiting to be called upon. When they’re needed, Flexitricity can activate these demand-side resources very quicky.

Providing low-carbon reserve

Flexitricity monitors the status of clients’ equipment from its Edinburgh control room. If a national demand peak is higher than expected, or if a large power station or interconnector fails, Flexitricity receives an electronic instruction from National Grid. 

Flexitricity’s central control system then communicates directly with customers’ equipment through a Flexitricity outstation located on each site. This starts generation or turns down consumption within minutes or, in some cases, seconds.

Fit for purpose

With the most diverse portfolio in the industry, Flexitricity can apply different demand-side resources to the roles in which they will do the most good and earn the best returns. 

CHP generators generally have periods of scheduled running. Outside those periods, they are a low-cost source of demand response. Like flexible load, CHP is activated frequently. Standby generators are used much less, targeting the most severe energy shortage situations.

To learn more about how your business can benefit from demand response participation call 0131 221 8100.