Demand side response and battery storage systems rise to the challenge

May 22, 2017

Demand side

 

The demand for energy is continually increasing; at national levels, within communities and in households. The traditional method of meeting this demand has been to increase production on the supply-side.

In recent times, however, attention has started to focus more on the demand-side, i.e. on the consumers themselves. The intention has been to adjust demand at peak times, for example by offering consumers financial incentives to use power at an off-peak time.

An alternative that is gaining significant momentum to meet this increased demand is to provide ‘local’ ways of storing energy produced off-peak so that it’s available for use when needed.

With this latter approach to demand-side-response (DSR), peak demand is not reduced, but managed so that energystored in batteries, many lithium ion and containing nickelis available at critical times of the day.

The DSR advantage

For national grids, an automated DSR system can react to a surge in demand faster than traditional methods such as thermal plants and hydroelectric generators. Furthermore, as it is based on distributed technology, it has no single point of failure. When linked to battery storage systems, frequently based on lithium ion technology, the DSR stockpiles energy from renewable sources so that the off-peak balance between supply and demand can be maintained.

This use of energy storage systems (ESS) is particularly important because 21 gigawatts (86%) of the EU’s new energy capacity built in 2016 was from wind, solar and other renewable sources which are intermittent in nature. This more effective use of renewable energy sources helps reduce carbon emissions.

The UK National Grid is just one energy supplier that is investing more in this combination of DSR and battery storage systems. In the response to the UK’s latest Capacity Market Auction, some 500 megawatts will be supplied by such new storage projects as the move to wind and solar generation continues.

Greater flexibility for all

This increased use of battery energy storage systems is not limited to national grids as there is also considerable activity in industrial and commercial markets. Open Energi, a UK-based technology company, supplies solutions based on DSR and energy storage.

David Hill, Director, Open Energi, stated “Combining behind-the-meter battery energy storage systems and demand side response is key to unlocking the total value of consumer flexibility and can lengthen battery lifespan by reducing throughput. It enables businesses to optimise the cost and carbon savings across their asset base and has the potential to transform how our electricity system operates.”

As DSR grows, the demand for nickel will grow along with it, strengthening the versatility of energy delivery systems around the world.

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Feature Story:
Demand side response and battery storage systems rise to the challenge
The demand for energy is continually increasing; at national levels, within communities and in households. The traditional method of meeting this demand has been to increase production on the supply-side.