As wind and solar generation comes to represent an increasing proportion of our power generation mix, our electricity supply-base is increasingly intermittent and inflexible. Since electrical supply and demand have to be matched on a continuous basis, we need more demand-side flexibility.
Unlike traditional centralised coal plants, renewable assets are often connected to the local grid. This presents an opportunity to increase grid efficiency and reduce transmission losses. It also introduces new challenges such as two-way power flows, a need for greater visibility and integration of decentralised assets and introduces the potential for new, locational pricing models.
Rapid developments in smart grid technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), home energy management system (HEMS), Internet of Things (IoT) and other connected devices offer greater visibility and control than ever before. It also creates new requirements for co-ordination, interpretation and data security.
Increasing desire for a more active role in the energy market has lead to the rise of "prosumers" who seek to generate their own electricity from personal or shared community assets, and/or purchase energy directly through peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Production is becoming more ‘democratic’ with more parties participating in the energy value proposition.
A shared registration platform for all UK gas and electricity supply points to facilitate faster switching. This technology is now being extended to cover new types of assets.
A common trading venue for all demand-side response actions to enable collaborative trading in the current hierarchical system as well as peer-to-peer and micro-grid trading.
Encryption techniques that can enable parties to extract value from smart meter data without compromising users’ data privacy.