Electricity price alerts could be solution to intermittent renewable energy supply
A pioneering trial is underway to test if day-ahead electricity price alerts can encourage consumers to make better use of wind power on windy days.
UK Power Networks, EDF Energy and Imperial College London are researching whether sending customers day-ahead electricity prices could produce some flexibility in demand to allow more intermittent renewables in the energy mix.
In addition, the technique could reduce stress on the electricity network when it is constrained by a fault or maintenance, giving consumers the option to reduce their consumption at these times and thereby reducing costs.
More than 1,100 EDF Energy customers with smart meters are participating in the research simulation across London. Participants will receive dynamic, day-ahead electricity price alerts via text or a small in-home display linked to their smart meter.
The Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering's professor Goran Strbac said: "It is crucial that we understand the role that residential consumers can play in the development of smarter electricity systems that will facilitate cost-effective evolution to a low carbon future."
The aim of the trial is to find out if households are prepared to use electricity-intensive equipment when green electricity is plentiful and cheap.
Imperial College London will analyse the results of the trial and publish reports on the findings next year.
EDF Energy smart metering programme director Niels Roberts added: "As the biggest producer of low carbon electricity in the UK, we are keen to see how the wind twinning approach could benefit both the supply network and consumers.