Transforming peak demand management is not just critical...it’s essential
Electricity peak demand occurs 1% of the time1, like on hot summer days and cold winter nights when high energy appliances such as air conditioners, pool pumps and heaters are cranked up and added to our usual energy needs.
On these occasions, when demand exceeds supply, Australia suffers. Energy distributors are forced to ‘shed loads’, sometimes turning off power to entire suburbs, and the cost of energy automatically hits its maximum price of $12,500 per 5 minutes.
Currently, in order to avoid peak events, energy distributors build excess capacity for reserve to meet the infrequent demand. 10% of our present electricity network is built for these ‘just in case’ scenarios.2
With peak demand in Australia growing at 7% per year3, continuing to build new infrastructure to meet our needs means:
- spending billions of dollars developing new power stations
- multiplying our greenhouse gas emissions
- facing continuous energy price hikes
Electricity distributors cannot afford to keep expanding their infrastructure; electricity retailers cannot shoulder the financial risks of maximum cost pricing when demand exceeds supply; consumers cannot meet the expense of rising energy bills; our country cannot survive the damaging environmental effects of continuously increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Peak demand management MUST change.
Peak demand management solutions
We can sustainably manage peak demand by increasing energy production through traditional and renewable sources and improving distribution efficiency (supply side response) as well as by reducing overall electricity use and shifting usage away from the grid during peak demand periods (demand side response).
Supply side response solutions
- renewable energy generation: Solar and wind power generation add additional energy to the grid, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and can increase efficiency by supplying energy locally (less power lost over shorter transmission distance) – but they cannot always be relied on due to weather conditions.
- aggregated generator reserve: Aggregating reserve capacity from existing assets into virtual power stations that can add additional energy to the grid helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency by supplying energy locally (less power lost over shorter transmission distance), is immediate and reliable and does not require new infrastructure development.
Demand side response solutions
- energy use reduction: Turning off non-essential loads lowers demand on the grid and cuts back carbon pollution.
- load shifting: Delaying or bringing forward energy intensive activities to non-peak periods decreases the load on the grid when demand is at its highest.
Combined supply side and demand side response solution
- Smart Grid virtual power solutions: Velocity Energy’s Smart Grid virtual power solution aggregates generator reserve to provide controllable, rapid and reliable capacity to the grid during periods of peak demand. With real time reactivity, the stations can respond to peak events by quickly powering up, adding capacity and reducing connected loads (loads connected to the standby or emergency generators).
Velocity Energy’s peak demand management solutions help us all
Velocity Energy’s Smart Grid virtual power solutions provide direct economic and environmental benefits for us all:
- diminish long term electricity cost increases by avoiding or deferring investments in network infrastructure
- provide an income stream from existing assets for generator owners
- boost supply reliability by relieving stress on the grid during periods of peak demand
- increase energy distribution efficiency by decreasing transmission losses
- reduce market risk by smoothing out electricity cost volatility
- cut carbon pollution growth from the expansion of electricity infrastructure
1 ‘Securing Queensland’s Energy Future: Regulation for Electricity Demand Management’
2 ‘Securing Queensland’s Energy Future: Regulation for Electricity Demand Management’
3 ‘Securing Queensland’s Energy Future: Regulation for Electricity Demand Management’