Demand-side response: Water firms, retailers, industrials give their verdict

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Firms helping to balance the power system via demand-side response (DSR) say they could provide significantly more flexibility – given sufficient reward and revenue certainty.

Meanwhile, most companies that do not provide DSR would consider doing so – if it did not impact on day-to-day operations.

The findings, from a survey conducted by The Energyst, come as National Grid ESO recommends reviewing security of supply standards to determine whether they require strengthening – and whether further reserves may be needed.

The survey findings are contained within the 2019 DSR: Shifting value report.

Respondents, including water companies, retailers, large industrial firms, transport companies and universities, provide an up-to-date snapshot of the DSR market and the challenges and opportunities it presents.

DSR providers:
– Six in ten could offer more flex without affecting business
– Insufficient rewards and revenue uncertainty main reasons for not doing so
– Triad avoidance most popular activity, then frequency services and CM
– Eight in ten providers would consider 15-year CM contracts (caveats apply)
– Four in ten still using diesel back up BTM for DSR/peak charge avoidance
– Six in ten satisfied with DSR overall, down from almost nine in 10 in 2016

Non-DSR providers:
– Almost nine in ten interested in providing DSR … if no disruption
– Most have some form of onsite generation, solar most popular
– Two thirds not yet approached by service providers re: DSR

Battery storage:
– Interest remains high; almost six in ten are considering investment
– Of those, six in ten plan to co-locate with other assets, mostly behind the meter
– Seven in ten view peak charge avoidance, incl. Triad, as part of revenue stack

The report contains qualitative interviews with companies that provide DSR on the challenges and opportunities presented, as well as organisations that do not provide flexibility – but would do so if simple, low cost solutions were put to them. These include local authorities, manufacturers, airports, universities, restaurant, hotel and pub chains, plus a broad range of SME and mid-market firms.

It also includes interviews with:
– DNOs on the direction of travel for local flexibility
– Suppliers, aggregators and consultants on where value might be headed
– Elexon on European market Terre and the wider access to the Balancing Mechanism
– The Environment Agency on the Medium Combustion Plant Directive

Thanks to sponsors Power Responsive, EDF Energy, Enel X and UK Power Networks, the report is available as a free download.

Download your copy here.

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