What role might Demand Response play in a (possible) future grid featuring high levels of intermittency?

Last week Paul McArdle posted this article to WattClarity after speaking at All-Energy in early October. His presentation (with narration included) from the conference is available here:

New service (still under development) available at DemandResponse.com.au

We have been a keen supporter of different aspects of Demand Response in Australia’s national electricity market.  We have been, for instance, facilitating demand response for a number of large industrial energy users for more than a decade .

Over more than a decade, we have seen a steadily increasing awareness of the capacity of Demand Response to deliver significant value to the industry as a whole – whilst also providing a benefit to the particular energy user supplying the flexible consumption.

Years ago when we started this process, we found that the initial awareness was almost zero (and a reasonable amount of negativity in some quarters).  Hence we accepted, as part of our role, some responsibility for providing education about demand response – what it is, how it might work in the context of the NEM, and what the benefits would be.

We’ve not been the only ones involved in actively promoting the potential of demand response – there are a number of others that have made key contributions (which are referenced in the “Stakeholders” section of the site ** please let us know if we have missed others **).

The development of the site www.DemandResponse.com.au as another free service provided to electricity sector stakeholders, with the aim of making this particular aspect of complexity more understandable, was a logical extension of the time we have invested in education about Demand Response over the past decade and more….

We posted this article on the site on 1st July 2015 and have contacted many market stakeholders and observers, keenly seeking their input into making the site as effective as it can be in helping to make different methods of Demand Response as understandable by, and accessible to, a broad range of electricity users.

Customer uses “Power Supply Schematic” Market Map to see a clear picture of the structure of the electricity supply industry

Following a significant period of development work, we released updates to our popular Market Map™ wall charts late in 2011.

One of our happy customers let us know the following:

“I have received the Power Supply Schematic and it now take pride of place on my office wall. Please convey my congratulations to the whole team for an excellent portrayal of an extremely complex issue….”

Brian Green – Energy & Regulator Reporting Manager, Australian Paper

2011

The electricity market is a complex place. For the people operating within the market it’s hard enough – let alone having to explain it to others.  Our Market Maps™ make that task much easier, as this client has testified.

Helping facilitate demand response by commenting on emerging opportunities

In the height of summer 2005-06 a journalist at The Age, Rod Myer, wrote this article “Power to cut out the middleman” to highlight a different approach a number of large industrial energy users were adopting to lower their average cost of energy consumed, whilst at the same time providing a valuable service to the market in helping to mitigate peak demand.

The article begins:

SEVERAL Australian businesses are choosing to manage their exposure to the national electricity market directly rather than contract with retailers. And many who choose to go down this path are providing much needed backup for the power system by turning their plant off when power prices spike.”

Given that our company has been active in facilitating Demand Response for a number of years, it made sense that our comment was sought about this emerging opportunity for energy users.

The author notes our CEO, Paul McArdle, as commenting that:

“… companies using Global Roam software had added about 200 megawatts of demand-side response to the market by cutting use at certain trigger power prices.”