Survey reveals major opportunities for demand side response

Three quarters of UK firms are open to providing demand-side response (DSR), according to an annual survey of 180 public and private sector organisations by The Energyst.

The majority (66%) of those surveyed in Demand Side Response: Shifting the Balance of Power, do not currently provide DSR services and most of those companies (82%) were not taking any action to avoid peak network charges. The survey found that 77% of non-providers would be interested in earning money through DSR if it did not affect day-to-day business.

Of those that do provide DSR, almost half (45%) say they could provide significantly more flexibility without affecting operations. Most popular actions were Triad avoidance (57% took action) and avoiding distribution red-band charges (43%).

Diesels working hard

DSR providers were working their backup diesel generators hard. Organisations like water companies, retailers and steelmakers using diesel had Capacity Market contracts (44% participated) and used them for Triad avoidance (78%), DUoS red band avoidance  (51%) and STOR contracts (65%).

That suite of revenue lines bears out comments by Richard Palmer, associate partner at property management company Carter Jonas. In September’s New Power Report he suggested companies could benefit from using diesel to provide winter services even if they had to rent the diesel plant for the season.

Dash for storage

The survey also found high interest in battery storage, with 54% of all respondents considering investment, and 10% already investing.

Discussion on new ancillary services seemed to have driven that interest: when asked what DSR options they had heard of, National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response was the most recognised. Some 83% had heard of it. Similarly, 80% had heard of Fast Response and Demand Turn-Up.

Carter Jonas’s Palmer also argued in New Power Report that while companies could use batteries to offer those services, they could get bigger returns. If they understood their energy use better, many could offer the service without the cost of installing batteries.

Battery projects under consideration are split equally between sub 250kW batteries, 250kW-1MW projects and 1MW+ schemes. Half (49%) of those would be sited behind the meter, 29% co-located with renewables and 22% standalone.


Download the report from Energyst

Read New Power Report’s interview with Richard Palmer

Further reading

Fossil power specialists make storage and flex part of the package

Storage ‘should be defined as load, not generation’