What happens to the energy landscape during COVID-19?

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What happens to the energy landscape during COVID-19?

In this Guest Blog we are delighted to welcome GridBeyond who give their thoughts on “What happens to the energy landscape during COVID-19?”. 

The COVID-19 virus has highlighted our global reliance on technology and electricity. Millions of people have been confined to their homes for work, shopping, hobbies and communicating with friends and family. This represents a seismic shift in how power and utility businesses need to provide their crucial services.

We’re all aware the grid operates on a delicate balance of supply and demand. However, this is made easier to manage by a somewhat predictable profile. The unprecedented events of the last few weeks have resulted in a huge reduction in industrial and commercial demand and have shifted general demand patterns closer to the patterns of holiday periods and weekends. The morning-peak-then-evening-peak shape has disappeared as people stay at home and don’t commute to work.

In Ofgem’s latest report, the UK’s total annual electricity demand stands at 352.1TWh. The proportions break down with domestic demand the highest at 30%, followed by industrial at 26% and then commercial demand, which includes shops, restaurants, schools and hospitals, sitting at around 21%.

National Grid has sufficient margins of generation from both fossil fuel and renewable sources to operate the grid securely. Whilst it is generally understood that power outages occur when demand outweighs supply, in recent times blackouts have happened during times of low demand, which brings grid resilience to the fore at this time.

The rolling average demand is now falling as the lockdown measures come into force. Wind generation currently tops out at 12-13GW, and is not spiking higher, which means the percentage share of wind will increase, and there will be less flexible power on the GB system.

Power and utility organisations are typically well-equipped for emergencies, as they provide critical infrastructure. Whilst contingencies for natural disasters, terrorism, cyber-terrorism and power outages are typically in our collective focus, it’s not often we think about the widespread ramifications of a nation on lockdown.

“With the increasing risk of unpredictable demand, we can at least be thankful for the steps made in digitalising and decentralising our grid, and the smart grid solutions at hand to counter any volatility during these unprecedented circumstances,” commented Mark Davis, Managing Director at GridBeyond.

“Technologies such as battery storage and demand response are crucial to managing grid frequency, more than ever, and are part of National Grid’s ammunition in tackling an unplanned crisis.

“GridBeyond, like many other businesses, is providing key energy services to the grid – demand side response as well as battery control both behind and in front of the meter. Diversifying and distributing the sources of balancing services provides the resilience National Grid needs to cope with a changing system.”

Read more about the impact of COVID-19 on energy networks.

About GridBeyond

Transform energy into opportunity. GridBeyond is a global leader in intelligent energy technology for industrial, commercial, institutional and utility partners. Energy users are provided the ability to manage and control demand response participation, energy performance, markets and costs via the multi-award-winning AI Point platform.

By stacking various market opportunities and programmes, GridBeyond delivers demand response revenues, enhanced savings, strengthened operations and sustainability to over 400 I&C sites worldwide, including some of the planet’s best-loved brands. Furthermore, networks and utilities are empowered to optimise electricity supply and provide value-add opportunities to their customers.

By connecting grid operators, operational load, distributed generation, storage, EV charging and utilities to integrated energy services, GridBeyond’s vision is to build a shared energy economy that delivers sustainability, resilience, affordability and adaptability through collaboration and innovation.

About Lewis Davey

Lewis Davey’s Cleantech & Sustainability recruitment team specialise in recruiting talented people across the energy & sustainability industry.  If you are looking to recruit talented people for your team, are working within the industry and looking for a new role, or would like to contribute a guest blog, get in touch with us on info@lewisdavey.com or through 020 7859 4246.

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