Innovations are making the energy system flexible and safe enough so households can trade the energy they generate with each other, as well as with the National Grid.
Research undertaken at Durham University is leading the new innovations.
The UK’s electricity networks are serving millions of people every day and are facing a challenging future, with ageing infrastructure and increasing reliance on renewable energy sources.
With the fluctuating and seasonal generation of renewable sources, combined with increasing demand for electricity, the development of smart energy technologies is key to:
improving the reliability, security, and efficiency of the UK’s electricity networks
keep the lights on at minimum cost to consumers.
Balancing supply and demand
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funded researchers have developed a smart grid application that enables distributed generation at the household and community level to be aggregated.
Supply and demand can be balanced in real time by aggregating the capacity of many diverse distributed energy resources and multiple flexible demands into a single Virtual Power Plant (VPP).
The result is a responsive and reliable power source that has the potential to be more efficient along with the ability to respond to changes in energy demand to avoid blackouts or shortages.