‘Super green’ kitchens could help reduce emissions

Kitchen appliances such as fridges and freezers using a 'dynamic demand' control could be able to reduce the amount of electricity Brits consume during peak periods, a new government report suggests.

The new technology would save an estimated two million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year when fully integrated across the network – the equivalent of taking over 665,000 cars off the road.

These new claims are made in a report published earlier this week by the Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform department (BERR), which takes a look at the potential of ‘dynamic demand’ appliances.

Energy minister Malcolm Wicks said: “It is very early days and we don’t want to overstate it but dynamic demand does merit further research. As well as increasing the efficiency of our grid network icould ultimately prove to be an innovative tool in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change.”

The reports says that by using a ‘dynamic demand’ control, that the ‘super green’ kitchen goods would have small electronic controllers installed to track peak times on the electricity grid, helping to reduce demand. This could provide a more stable and efficient grid, removing some of the barriers to more renewable electricity generation in the UK.

National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday said: “National Grid is constantly looking for innovative ways to use our energy networks to tackle climate change and ensure security of energy supply.

“Dynamic demand is an exciting possibility for the future which we are already looking at, which could help us manage peaks in energy consumption, reduce emissions and support the use of variable renewable energy sources such as wind power.”

Currently, the National Grid has an annual £80 million expenditure for generators operating in ‘sensitive’ mode.

The report says: “The costs are high because the generators must be compensated for lost generating opportunity, and for wear-and-tear to the governor control systems and steam valves that control their output.

Further research will follow up the concept of dynamic demand, focusing ‘on any potential barriers to its deployment.’ The new report is expected in the summer of 2008.

The full report can be viewed on the BERR website.

Dana Gornitzki

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie