Former president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Terry Wyatt believes progress is too slow on preparing for the large-scale uptake of renewable microgeneration.
He believes the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Berr) must be forced to reduce pressure on the grid through the introduction of dynamic demand management (DDM).
He made his comments as Berr confirmed it had missed its August deadline for issuing a report on the viability of DDM.
If implemented in full, DDM would require manufacturers to include electronic controllers in domestic and industrial appliances, such as fridges, air conditioning and heating systems.
This would allow peak demand to be managed and balanced by switching off equipment which is not time sensitive in its energy needs. The grid could then operate more efficiently, need less
back-up generation and integrate more renewables.
Mr Wyatt, a partner at Hoare Lea and special professor of Building Services Engineering at the University of Nottingham, argues the National Grid and energy companies are not pursuing the issue effectively.
He added: “A directive from the European Union requiring dynamic demand management, smart grids and incentivising tariffs is essential and urgently required. And this is needed across Europe, as few governments have sufficient control over their electricity industries.”
Berr had previously indicated it might try to roll out DDM in the next few years and last July the secretary of state said a report on its potential must be issued no later than August this year. But a Berr spokesman said this week the report would be released in “early autumn” at the earliest.
A spokesman for the Nat-ional Grid said Mr Wyatt was underestimating progress. He said the company was already undertaking trials with dynamic demand specialists RLtec and was including DDM in its forward planning for 2020 and 2030.
He addded: “We believe dynamic demand offers an exciting new tool to help us balance supply and demand. We are actively developing smart metering, which is the key prerequisite to facilitating both dynamic demand and microrenewables.
“We are not convinced a directive would be helpful against the background of the Government’s climate change strategy and the fact that we and other companies are already actively developing dynamic demand.”
But Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace, said the energy market had to be opened up to dynamic demand and other approaches such as decentralised energy networks.
He said: “Dynamic demand will be useful in collaboration with other measures.
“But it illustrates a wider problem – that the system is not up to what we need in the future and innovation is being excluded.”
Terry Wyatt explains his worries over the roll out of Dynamic Demand Management (DDM):
|'It will not be progressed by the Electricity Supply side Generators nor by National Grid. |
'They are very satisfied with the existing situation. They make their profit from the first tariff charges and are also paid very large sums to retain ‘spinning reserve’ and ‘load pattern standby’ generator plant and distribution facilities.
'Consequently there is ‘every reason’ for them to continue as is and certainly no incentive for them to spend anything on enabling DDM, Smart Grids or any tariff changes that would benefit their customers, help reduce ‘Fuel poverty’, enable local renewables onto the system and cut UK Carbon emissions.
'These companies are presently totally concerned with getting new Power generation and distribution plant so that that extra equity will make them more attractive to foreign buyers (maybe from India or Asia).
'They will not accept the outcome of DDM which would mean that we didn’t need any additional Electricity Supply plants.
'Meanwhile the UK government has no stomach for ‘taking-on’ the Electricity supply industry.
'In these circumstances a Directive from The European Union requiring DDM, Smart Grids and appropriately incentivizing tariffs, is essential and urgently required.
'And this is needed across Europe as few governments have sufficient control over their Electricity Industries.
'The Italian government has retained control of its Electricity Industry and, seeing the benefits of DDM, has instructed over its immediate implementation.
'Italy will consequently reap the ‘early worm’ benefits.'
|National Grid defends its record||'We are actively supporting the development of dynamic demand and are working with companies like RLtec on trials.|
'We believe dynamic demand offers an exciting new tool to help us balance supply and demand, both in reducing balancing costs (which we are financially incentivised to reduce by the regulator Ofgem) and helping us meet the new challenges of balancing the system against the background of the growth of intermittent wind generation.
'Indeed, heavy demand users - such as aluminium smelters and the like - already play an important role in offering balancing services to us alongside the generators, increasing competition and driving down our balancing costs.
'We would welcome smaller customers being able to perform a similar role.
'We can't speak on behalf of the local distribution network owners, to whom microrenewables would connect, but we are actively developing smart metering which is the key prerequisite to facilitating both dynamic demand and the growth of microrenewables.
'The UK energy industry will be undergoing very major changes over the coming decades, and it goes without saying that the transmission system will need to adapt to meet the new challenges.
'We are well placed here, from the proposals we are developing with the Socttish transmission owners for strategic investments in our networks to accommodate new renewables to the major study we are undertaking on the scenarios for 2020 and 2030 we need to plan for.
'We are not convinced a directive would be helpful against the background of the Government's climate change strategy and the fact that we and other companies are already actively developing dynamic demand.'