Friday, 1 December 2017

Firm Frequency Response - what is it and why do we need it?

Our electricity system operates at a frequency of 50Hz, within limits as above.
Currently (no pun intended!) the National Grid is calling for suppliers to quote for fast response generation and/or storage to keep the frequency within its narrow boundaries.

There are two ways of looking at this: either

  •  it is a commendable and efficient way to address peak capacity issues, only paying for generation that is actually needed
  • it is an admission of failure to communicate to the consuming public the value of relatively modest changes in behaviour that would substantially reduce peak demand and render such projects unnecessary
Which view you take will depend on your faith in humanity's ability to respond effectively to calls for responsible action, or your belief in a centralised top-down system that makes no serious effort to raise public awareness of the value of behaviour change.

We are in danger of being reduced to cargo-cult status, where collectively we receive benefits from above that we can neither influence nor understand.