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Saturday, 24 December 2016

Demand Response - How much is it a Behavioural rather than a Technical issue?

The above diagram is from a recent UK Government report on the use of smart meters to bring about demand response. It highlights the technical options for domestic load control. 
Below is a picture from the site of Oracle Opower, which shows their approach to influencing consumer behaviour.

The challenge now is to integrate the two, the technical and the behavioural approaches, to bring about significant behaviour change and load shifting.

Early adopters - I am one, are you? - can already do much of the load shifting without smart meters, and then tell others they are doing it. I do it, do you, is an effective message for us to spread.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Happy Christmas!

Good news!

In the two weeks from Christmas day, peak electricity demand is lower because so many businesses are closed -so you can have plenty of LED lights on to cheer things up!

You're not getting away without a graph though! The dots on the right hand chart mark the average electricity demand in UK for the two weeks of Christmas last year, nice and low! Daily chart is for 21st Dec 2016 taken at 11am.

Friday, 16 December 2016

My latest traffic light

This is the latest iteration of the light bulb 

It glows:
  • Green from midnight to 7am
  • Red from 3pm to 8pm
  • Amber at other times
If everyone had one, and shifted their discretionary consumption from the red to the green periods, we could avoid two more Hinkley C's!

Let me know if you want one!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

How cheap does storage need to be?

When I mention domestic demand response I increasingly hear storage as being the solution.
But how cheap does storage need to be to break even? Turnkey solutions at the moment cost around £500 per kWh. To get the cost down to a retail price of domestic electricity of 12p/unit, each kWh of storage would need to be used around 4000 times, that's once a day every day for 11 years. 
  • The battery and equipment would need to last for 4000 cycles before it broke even.
  • If it did, the minimum time to break even is 11 years.
  • This assumes the electricity going in to the battery is "free" i.e. from a PV installation where no other use for the electricity can be found.
In practice the load factor would be much less than 100% on a daily basis, thus reducing the returns further.

The price would need to at least halve to get any chance of a six year payback, which is what was needed from FITs to get mass PV installation going.

Do batteries last for 4000 cycles? 500-1000 cycles is more typical for lead acid.

Why not just shift the time at which you use electricity - it's virtually free to do so!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Are we enthralled to our beliefs about consumer behaviour?

Are we enthralled to the idea that customers are passive or coin-operated?

We seem to assume that:

  • Domestic electricity consumers will not change their behaviour much 
  • Even if bribed to, the change will only be slight
  • We are saddled with the shape of the daily demand curve
  • Only a technical fix can save us from a future of expensive nuclear or climate-altering carbon based power

Perhaps we could instead assume:

  • Consumers are intelligent and responsible people
  • We do not want to have expensive and climate-altering electricity
  • We would be happy to make small and convenient changes to our consumption habits  
  • The costs associated with bringing about such a change are very small in relation to the alternative
Comments please!
Please share this!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Gen Game makes demand response fun!

Gen Game are working in the North East of England to encourage domestic demand response - as an app-based game!
The sooner it is available in the South West, the happier I will be.
Or should we do our own version?

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Peak demand remains under 50GW, but a significant morning peak has appeared

Here is the UK electricity production chart for the 24 hours to 11:15am on 1st December 2016.
Demand so far this week has peaked below 50GW, (49.7GW at 5pm on 29.11.16) which is good considering the very low temperatures.However there is now a significant morning peak from 7am to around 12noon.
So let's all shift our discretionary demand into the off peak period, midnight to 7am please.
Be saintly - even if you are not on Economy 7, you will be rewarded in heaven if not before!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Energy Age: Global Demand for Energy Storage

The Energy Age: Global Demand for Energy Storage: Energy Storage Demand in a Sustainable World The global transition to renewable energy production is in progress. Last year, 2015, more r...

How much storage would each domestic PV installation need to provide to make an impact on peak demand?

There are now over 900,000 solar PV installations in UK.
Our peak electricity demand of 52 GW in the last twelve months only exceeded 50 GW for a few hours, and never for more than an hour at a time.How much storage would each PV installation need to provide to eliminate this peak, and thereby contribute to the cost of handling the electricity they provide in summer when it is not much needed?
For the sake of simple arithmetic, let's be generous to the PV owners.
Let's only ask them to contribute 1.8GW for one hour, which is 2 kWh each. They might need to do this ten times per year.
A 100 amp hour 12volt leisure battery costs about £75 retail. So a couple of these would do the trick, plus associated electronics, say £450 total cost. An order for 900,000 might bring the unit costs down a bit.
At ten cycles per year, the batteries would last for many years, possibly as long as the solar installation.
In the context of a £4500 cost of a typical domestic PV installation, this seems a reasonable price to pay.
In the big picture, £450 million or thereabouts to save 1.8 GW of peak generation capacity is a bargain.

Given the large scope for peak chopping, should we ever seek to have more than 50 GW of hard capacity on the system?

All comments gratefully received. Please share this post.

Cassandra's Legacy: Peak? What Peak? Europe's energy consumption back ...

Cassandra's Legacy: Peak? What Peak? Europe's energy consumption back ...:   Image from " Eurostat " - h/t Luis de Souza

How much Electricity storage would a wind-powered ...

Green Fallacies: How much Electricity storage would a wind-powered ...: Short answer: 17,464 GWh, or about 654 times more than we currently have. How much would that cost? World experience is that hydro pr...

Energy Thoughts and Surprises: Demand side response - get paid to consume electri...

Energy Thoughts and Surprises: Demand side response - get paid to consume electri...: As of May 1st the National Grid will (occasionally) pay large consumers to increase their electricity demand to help balance the grid [1]. C...

Monday, 21 November 2016

Electricity consumption is ramping up with the wintry weather.

Today, 21st November 2016, at 1030 am, UK electricity consumption at nearly 44GW is 3 GW higher than at the same time last week. On this basis, consumption is likely to hit 50 GW at around 530pm tonight.
It's fairly windy, so we are getting about 9.5% of our electricity from wind. Of course at 530pm we will be getting zero from PV, so all those panels we have fitted make no difference to our requirement for peak generation capacity.
To see the data in more detail, go to http://nationalgrid.stephenmorley.org/
Are you telling your friends that you are shifting your discretionary consumption (e.g. washing machines, dishwashers, tumble driers, immersion heaters) out of the peak period from 3 to 8pm? I am!

Comments gratefully received below.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Back to our Normal Winter Consumption Patterns

As the graphs for today, 4th November show,the clocks going back last weekend heralded a return to our traditional winter consumption pattern.
Each weekday, we have a daytime plateau from about 830am to 3pm, then a rise of 7GW to a peak at 530pm. Demand then drops back to the level of the daytime plateau by 830pm and continues to fall to a trough at around 4am.
The move from BST to GMT seems to exacerbate this peaky pattern. last Friday, before the clock change,as we can see from the Past Week chart on the right, had a much lower peak than any day this week.
Does the government take the extra required capacity cost implied by this into account when deciding on clock changes?
In any case, we are the ones who can make a difference by time-shifting our consumption.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

A Traffic Light System to aid DSR in the Home

There are two situations when it is desirable from a supply perspective for consumers to reduce demand:

  • when the grid is approaching total available capacity
  • when local voltage is at a low level, i.e. approaching the minimum legal limit of 216V
There are also two situations when it is desirable for consumers to increase demand:
  • when supply is in danger of becoming unstable locally - for example when there is high PV generation and low demand.
  • when national demand falls below the level required to maintain nuclear generation and/or stability, which is also likely to be at times of high renewable generation.
All of this information and a recommendation for action can be automatically generated from publicly available data, such as national real-time demand, frequency, and local voltage.

This can be displayed in a simple matrix:

The consumer can then decide what action to take based on the recommendation and informed by the supply situation.

Can you help me turn this into a device or an app?

Friday, 21 October 2016

Can we have large scale CHP from existing power stations? Iceland does.

Iceland's Hellisheidi (pronounced heltliss-haydee, not Hell is Heidi!) geothermal power station sends 130 MW of heat along a 25 Km hot water pipe to Reykjavik, where virtually all buildings are district heated from it. It also produces 300MW of electricity.

Doesn't this call the bluff of those who say that it is impossible to use our relatively large gas fuelled - and nuclear -  power stations to provide CHP heat on a  multi-hundred Megawatt or even Gigawatt scale to British cities?

Heat is now a big issue for carbon reduction - we can't go on burning gas in small boilers just to heat our draughty houses for ever.

Is it time for a pilot CHP scheme? 

Perhaps we could heat Bristol from Hinkley C?

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Last meeting of ECC Committee discusses DSR - a bit late?

The difficulties faced by companies such as Kiwi, Tempus and Passivsystems in delivering demand side response against regulatory inertia are highlighted in this discussion in front of the last meeting of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee before its absorption into the BEIS Committee.

The relevant discussion is at


staring at 10:15 on the video.

If we do not get this right, we are in danger of perpetuating highly polluting diesel or coal fired stations for peak supply.

It is not good enough to say that consumers don't understand it.

Behavioural issues must be addressed in tandem with regulatory change.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Disaggregation - a long word that can help us

About five years ago, I invited a new startup, Green Running, to show me their wares. I was looking for new ways to find out how much electricity we were using at Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, and where we were using it.

At that time, the technology was not yet there to analyse the existing signatures from different appliances that would allow their device to identify each one, and thereby provide easy to read information of consumption over time, appliance by appliance.

Green Running may now have the technology that can do just that. If so, we can all see exactly where we are using electricity and when, and take steps to reduce and/or time shift it.

If we all do this, we can do away with several large power stations, apart from making the lives of BEIS civil servants much easier - (a trivial benefit) -

 it will provide several key outcomes:

  • Substantially reducing the cost of providing new capacity
  • Substantially improving the forward reliability of our electricity system
  • Substantially reducing the carbon emissions per unit generated
Happy time-shifting!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Do we want brownouts?

The normal mains voltage in UK is 230V. But there is an acceptable range which is legally defined as +10% -6%, i.e. the voltage can range from a maximum of 253V to a minimum of 216V.

It is sometimes suggested that the power supplied to the grid could be limited by using some of this range.

If we had a simple system (which we do not!) where the voltage was the same at all supply points, we could theoretically reduce consumption by up to 37% by reducing the voltage from 253 to 216

In practice the available range is very much smaller, and is reduced further by local intermittent renewable generation. Anecdotally, when my PV system is at full output and I switch off all loads, my voltage rises to about 250V, near the maximum.

Nonetheless, a few percent of power reduction is available.

For example, reducing voltage at peak demand times in winter from 230V to 223V would result in a peak power reduction approximately equal to that of a Hinkley sized power station. It would give no noticeable dimming of lights or other unwanted results.

We wouldn't of course need to even think about this if we all avoided unnecessary consumption at peak times in winter!

Friday, 9 September 2016

The What, Who and When of Domestic Electricity Demand in UK - (the right answers can be found below).

Our new Prime Minister Theresa May has pushed the pause button on Hinkley C. Do we need it? How many more nuclear reactors will we need? How will demand patterns affect their profitability? Are we allowing ourselves to be hostages to our own irresponsibility?
Now is the time to take domestic demand response seriously and save £50 billion, even if we go ahead with Hinkley.
You and I as informed consumers (you are informed because you read this blog!)  have the power and responsibility to influence Government to mount an information campaign, perhaps under the Behavioural Insight Team to reduce peak consumption by 7GW to 45GW this winter.
We can do it.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Jeremy Rifkin - 7th European Summit of Regions and Cities

This is the best video I have seen all summer, worth watching if you are interested in the transformation of the economy to a sustainable model.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a village. In the winter, it was cold. The villagers heated their houses with wood. They also used wood to boil water to wash their clothes, and their dirty dishes, pots and pans.
The wood came from a store in the middle of the village. It was a small store, but the villagers paid several wood choppers to keep it full all through the winter.

One winter it got very cold. The store nearly emptied, and the villagers were worried. “What if we have another very cold winter and one of the wood choppers falls ill?” they thought.
So they asked the village elders to do something about it.
The village elders thought long and hard, and came up with a solution. “We will ask the neighbouring village to supply us with chainsaws like the ones they have, so that the wood choppers can cut wood more quickly” they told the villagers.

“Hooray!” said the villagers, “but how much will the chainsaws cost, and how much smoke do they make?” “A lot” said the elders “but there is no alternative”.
One of the villagers saw a way out the problem. He realised that the reason they thought they needed the chainsaws was not as it seemed at first sight.

The wood choppers could keep up with the daily demand for wood; it was just the fact that all the villagers used wood at the same time in the evening that was the problem. If they used wood in the night or the morning, it would give the choppers time to fill the small store and not run out.
So they all agreed to do their washing when the wood choppers said there was plenty of wood, not all at the same time, and not when they were using a lot of wood in their fires to keep warm.

The villagers lived long, warm, clean, prosperous and happy lives ever after.  

Friday, 29 July 2016

Is the Future Thorium?

Here's a clip from an excellent NASA film about nuclear reactors and why they are vital for extended space travel. You can see the film - all two hours of it - at


People sometimes ask me don't wind turbines take more energy to make than they produce? The answer is no. But it is interesting to see what the energy return on investment is for different energy technologies. At the bottom of the list is ethanol from maize, which according to NASA scientists only produces 30% more energy than growing and processing it consumes.

At the other end of the scale, Thorium reactors, which produce no bomb grade isotopes, are by far the most efficient, producing 2000 times the energy required to make and operate them. Surprisingly, current nuclear technology is only as efficient as coal at less than a twentieth that of Thorium.

The reason we don't have Thorium reactors is that they don't produce bomb grade material, and therefore research went into the Uranium and Plutonium reactors we have today.

Perhaps Teresa May should pause a little longer to ponder on this while she makes her mind up about Hinkley C.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Is a Northern Global Grid Link feasible?

The Arctic Circle is just over 10,000 miles long. A supergrid running its full length would allow solar PV and other forms of low carbon electricity to be transmitted from daylight areas to evening areas. National grids in Canada, Scandinavia and Russia could be connected, with substantial potential for generation capacity reduction.
The growing geothermal output of Iceland could then also be fed into it. An Iceland/UK link is already being planned.
With global warming, northerly latitudes will become increasingly attractive places to live, so this is a useful piece of infrastructure for the world's future.
Or do you think such grand projects are extravagant and environmentally dubious?
 If so, your best bet is to follow my advice and timeshift your electricity consumption out of the peak and into the trough!
Happy timeshifting!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Are we looking for quarters where the light is?

Most of the demand side response solutions available today are aimed at the industrial and commercial sectors. This is hardly surprising, given the absence of financial motivation for domestic consumers to change their behaviour.
But peak winter demand in UK is overwhelmingly caused by domestic users, and it's getting worse, for three reasons:

  • Deindustrialization.  Uk has exported its smokestack industries to the far East and to Europe.
  • Remaining industrial users are highly energy conscious and avoid peak demand penalties like the plague.
  • Domestic consumers are unaware of how much of their bill is caused by national peak demand, not average consumption.
So if we behave altruistically in the way we do with recycling, we can make the difference necessary to close power stations at home.

I do, do you?

Friday, 24 June 2016

UK Grid Carbon App raises interesting questions about when to use electricity

The University of Southampton has produced a useful app that tells us the carbon intensity and real time production of different sources of electricity, see http://www.gridcarbon.uk/

Unsurprisingly, the carbon intensity per kWh falls with consumption, as baseload nuclear becomes a bigger proportion of generation at night.

Where does this leave the Wadebridge Sunshine Tariff experiment? For the sixty households involved, electricity is very cheap during summer daylight hours - this is to encourage use when solar PV is generating. But for much of that time, the sun is not shining in Cornwall, and people are being subsidised to use dirty coal and gas electricity.

What's my advice?
For non time-sensitive appliances:

  • Use electricity when the sun is shining in summer
  • Use electricity from midnight to 7am all year round
  • Don't use much electricity between 3 and 8pm in winter
If everybody did this we would save £50 billion in new nuclear capacity costs.

Monday, 13 June 2016

How much difference will smart meters make to time-of-use by UK domestic consumers?

Today Smart Energy GB kindly sent me some copies of the above leaflet.
How much difference will the type of smart meter now being rolled out across UK actually make?
The suppliers have successfuly lobbied for them to focus on ease of billing. In theory they will also make switching supplier easier.
But there is no mention on the leaflet of the value to all of us of time-shifting consumption away from the peak.
Until we raise public awareness of how much we will all save when we get round to doing it, what is the point of the taxpayer spending £350 on each smart meter?

Monday, 6 June 2016

What Happened in the Peak Week of UK Electricity Consumption in 2016?

In the week of 18th January 2016, which was the week with the highest average electricity demand so far this year, we consumed an average of 38.7 GW . 
But the peak in the year was just over 52 GW, so if we could completely flatten our consumption, we would reduce the need for new power stations by 13 GW. 
Very little of peak demand is met by renewables - an inconvenient truth for low carbon pundits like me - wind and hydro only contributed 8% of the total in that week. Solar will have contributed much less as it is dark at peak times in mid-winter.
Nearly half the demand in the week is still being met by gas. It is agreeable to see that subsequent to the peak weeks, coal fired production fell dramatically - coal fired stations are being decommissioned.
But how will we meet next year's peak? 
It will be much easier to do so without resorting to coal on a big scale if we manage our domestic demand better - that means you, me, and all our neighbours!
Keep spreading the word!

Who is the main culprit in creating high peak demand in winter?

This slide, from a UK DECC report, clearly shows that domestic consumption is both the major consumer of electricity in winter, and the most peaky seasonally.
Much work has already been done on smoothing industrial electricity consumption, because it is relatively easy for centralised organizations to bring it about.
If you like decentralization, people power, and a low carbon future, then reducing domestic peak consumption in winter is a must!
Let me know what you are doing about it. Please.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Who pays for the absence of energy efficiency?

Here's an example on a small scale of what can be achieved by a combination of efficiency and time shifting of electricity demand, courtesy of a yes you've guessed American company, CP Power

They have almost halved the peak consumption of an industrial user in this example.

Were we to halve our peak consumption in UK, we would save around 25 GW and £200 billion in new capacity and distribution costs at Hinkley C prices.

Each GW we save from the peak is worth £8 billion. How long before we save the first one?!

For how long each year is UK electricity demand at or near its peak?

Thanks to the National Grid's Gridwatch site, it is possible for anyone to download and analyse electricity consumption over any of the last 7 years.
I did it for the winter of 2015/16.
I discovered:
The peak demand last winter was 52.17GW
The demand was over 50 Gw for only 7.5 hours
The demand was over 48 GW for only 50 hours
The demand was over 45 GW for only 186 hours
We could make a good start by saving ourselves £16 billion in capacity costs by reducing consumption slightly for the seven and a half hours that demand is over 50 GW.
I will shortly be showing you an easy way to do this!
You won't have to watch the gridwatch site the whole time - a computer will do it for you!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Is it safe to delay appliances into the middle of the night?

There has been some discussion recently about the risks involved in running appliances at night unattended.
You can read a  a Which webpage about it.
In the article there is no mention of the value to the wider community of avoiding the peak, irrespective of whether the delay is into the middle of the night or not.
The picture above, which is taken from the webpage, suggests an overloaded dryer, which is obviously a bad and dangerous idea.
I suggest

  • Don't overload appliances
  • Have your appliances checked every year (it's compulsory in certain types of property)
  • Don't use it as an excuse not to delay at all!
  • It's more important to avoid the peak (3 to 8 pm) than to delay into the middle of the night.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Am I managing my electricity consumption well?

This is a chart of my domestic  electricity consumption for a fairly typical mid-winter weekday , Tuesday 9th February 2016.
Technically the chart is net consumption after PV generation, but in mid February my 4kW system will generate negligible energy.

My observations are:

  • I have 6kW of storage heaters which come on at midnight.  I am pleased to see that they only remained on initially for less than an hour. They appear to come on again sporadically through the night when they are on a low setting.
  • I seem to use some electricity at 8-10am for breakfast and probably cups of tea.
  • My consumption is then low until 7-8pm when cooking the evening meal starts
  • At 8pm the time switch on my immersion heater comes on
  • Later in the evening I have a bath and the immersion heater comes on again.
  • I wonder if the clock in the Owl monitor was accurately set - perhaps the consumption around 11-12pm is in fact the storage heaters coming on again. it would also make sense for the breakfast blip to be a bit earlier.
Anyway the main thing that please me is that consumption at the peak time around 3-7pm has been kept low. it would be even better if I could extend this until 8pm, but nobody is perfect. 

Not every day was as "good" as this, but at least I have some idea of what is happening.
The device I use is an Owl USB monitor which costs about £40.

Any comments?
Do you monitor your personal domestic consumption?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

People in Germany are now being paid to consume electricity The price of power in Germany briefly dropped to minus 130 euros per MWh on 8 May


As reported in the Independent, electricity prices went negative in Germany for the first time on 8th May.

  • They generate a lot of both wind and solar power
  • Demand for electricity has not been managed to match intermittent renewable supply
  • They would rather keep renewables running than switch them off, even if it is more expensive to do so.
What are the lessons for UK?
  • Manage demand to more closely match the cost of intermittent supply
  • Raise awareness of this issue with domestic consumers who have the power to manage their demand patterns far more than they currently do
The prize for doing this is huge - of the order of £50 billion if the alternative is Hinkley C type power stations.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

New Sunshine Tariff for Wadebridge

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network has agreed a day/night summer tariff with a difference - it's cheaper in the day!
From 9am to 4pm in summer, customers will pay only 5p per unit.
This is designed to raise awareness of the desirability to use solar PV electricity of which there is a lot in Wadebridge.
I wonder if such a scheme could also have lower charges from 8pm to 9 am in winter, which would save £8000 per kilowatt in new generation capacity from nuclear?


Thursday, 28 April 2016

Community Energy Action Report helps us to see where we should be heading

Western Power Distribution published a report late last year that describes in great detail their engagement with several communities in the quest for awareness raising and behaviour change that would benefit both the suppliers and users of electricity.

You can download and read the report at


I think my aim is a step on the way, simpler and  less ambitious - to reduce national peak demand by awareness raising of when that occurs, to which the answer is simple - between 3 and 8pm on winter weekdays.

Once there is general awareness of  peak generation capacity as an issue, the rest can follow on a firmer footing.

Monday, 25 April 2016

What is the simplest way to cause mass behaviour change amongst electricity consumers?

If you ask people in the industry, or in DECC, they say that people will only change their behaviour if they are financially motivated to do so via their electricity tariff. I'm not so sure.

Alex Laskey of Opower says that peer pressure is more important.

But first, people need some basic information on when to use electricity.

How about a traffic light system that tells people when it is most economic for the system as a whole - it would potentially save £50 billion in UK alone, if the alternative is a couple more large nuclear power stations.
At minimal cost, each home could have a light that changes colour when the supply situation changes. At its simplest, the light would be red between 3 and 8pm in winter, amber between 8am and 3pm in winter, and green pretty much all of the rest of the time.
Thus all members of each household would clearly know when it is environmentally and economically better to use or not use electricity.
Let me know what you think and tell your friends.

Monday, 18 April 2016

UK Carbon Emissions have fallen to where they were in 1900

UK CO2 emissions (millions of tonnes) between 1850 and 2015. Source: DECC and the World 
Resources Institute CAIT data explorer. Chart by Carbon Brief. The CAIT data has been adjusted 
because it excludes land use emissions.

What do we make of this? On the face of it, we have been supremely

successful at reducing our carbon emissions since they peaked in 1970,

and are now back down to where they were in 1900.

What has caused this? Here are a few reasons, not necessarily in order of importance:
  • Switching away from coal fired power stations
  • De-industrialisation
  • Continuous progress in energy efficiency
  • The introduction of renewables
  • Demand management!

Where will further progress come from? When will we get back to pre-1850 levels of emissions, which we need to do to combat climate change?
Low Hanging Fruit

For a start we can create the opportunity for a higher percentage of renewables in our energy mix by time-shifting domestic and small business consumption out of peak times -this is probably now the easiest piece of low hanging fruit to pick in the fight to reduce carbon.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Will Hinkley C go ahead?

Will Hinkley C go ahead? And if not, where does it leave UK generation policy?
Today the Chief Financial Officer of EDF resigned, highlighting the extraordinary distortion of EDF's business that the Hinkley project would cause.
 It would involve EDFselling off other assets,and restructuring share ownership, to pursue a commercially questionable project dependent on UK Government and Chinese support.
But without Hinkley C we will need either
- an expansion of gas fired CCGT stations, with the carbon and supply risks that entails
- or a  behavioural change by the consumer to limit peak demand
I prefer the latter!
Read all about it on   It's Time to Chop the Peak

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Bring your own thermostat!

As usual, American electricity utilities are well ahead of UK in thinking about and testing peak reduction ideas. It's easier for them because there are a large number of independent grids with scope for smaller scale innovation.
Nonetheless, they still have difficulty in seeing how a project in one area can be repeated elsewhere, see

I remain convinced that this is a behavioural not a primarily technical issue, and the sooner we have an awareness campaign that goes beyond blogs like this the better! Tell your friends!