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As my colleague Alix Weil explained in her blog, a strong growth is expected in the market of Home Energy Management (HEM) and we believe over 2.3M homes will be equipped by 2023. This is mostly driven by the optimisation of self-consumption and of dynamic electricity tariffs.
We defined HEM as optimising the energy flows in the home, and this is only a part of a wider trend towards a more distributed, democratised energy system. Particularly linked to HEM, two other elements of the energy transition can see huge benefits from managing energy in the home:
E-mobility and EVs. Smart charging and Vehicle-to-Grid. ACES*... I think it's fair to say that over the last 2-3 years, these terms have - to a greater or lesser extent - become a common part of everyday vocabulary if you are in any way interested in the future of the energy industry.
And for good reason. At the end of 2013, there were around 123,000 plug-in electric vehicles on Europe's roads. Today, that number is more than 1.5 million, rising all the time, and they all need charging up occasionally**.
We’re at a tipping point in how electricity systems are balanced. Traditionally, supply and demand have been matched by turning large power plants up and down, with the occasional very large industrial customer, like a steel works, containing its demand to help balance the system. But over the last ten years we’ve seen a new breed of businesses – aggregators – bringing together hundreds and thousands of distributed assets to help the electricity systems stay balanced.
We’ve seen more and more aggregators emerging as markets have opened to distributed portfolios, with more than 70 appearing across Europe. Delta-ee Director Jon Slowe suggests “we are past the tipping point of this being a distinct sector in the energy market and there will be lots more action and development over the next years”.
Influencing and controlling the timing of demand will be a core competence of companies in the electricity value chain.
The electricity value chain is increasingly focusing on the timing of demand. Less and less about the quantity of electricity generated and sold. More about kWs and kWhs at particular times.
Delta-ee recently supported Wales & West Utilities’ strategic work looking into the future role of gas in the UK as part of an integrated cross-vector energy system. We helped Wales &West Utilities develop a new generation of their 2050 Energy Pathfinder Model that assesses the impact of different future energy mixes on the balance of electricity and gas supply and demand for any size population in the UK. The main objectives of the rebuild were to critically review the methodology and assumptions, streamline the model methodology, and improve the model’s user interface.
The model simulates hourly supply and demand profiles for gas and electricity across a defined region for a sample year. Together with existing sources and demands, new sources such as tidal barrage, and demands such as EVs are included, alongside fuel switching between the electricity and gas vectors (for example, using hybrid heat pumps). This enables a range of storage, demand response and new technology innovations to be simulated. The model outputs the following results:
At the most simplistic level an answer is “more demand for electricity? Hooray!”
Peel back the layers of the onion (in this case a big juicy onion) a little more, and you might have some more detailed answers.
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