Tuesday, 2 December 2008

"It is worth investing in DR resources if its cheaper than the alternative resources"

Interview with Ulrik Stridbaek, Chief Economist, Regulatory affairs at DONG Energy

smartelectricnews.com Special

During the hottest days or any other period of maximum demand, demand can rise to a level where even if generating capacity is available, the delivery infrastructure or the grid may be pushed to the point of failure. According to experts, demand response (DR) can be used at such times to reduce spikes and increase grid reliability.

This type of DR usually involves end users on `standby' able to be dispatched - often times automatically - by grid operators or utilities when demand is spiking and grid equipment failures are possible.

Apart from increasing grid reliability, another option would be to reduce short-term price volatility.

Depending on the configuration of generation capacity, DR may be used to increase demand (load) at times of high production and low demand. Some systems may thereby encourage energy storage to arbitrage between periods of low and high demand (or low and high prices).

As the proportion of intermittent power sources such as wind power in a system grows, demand response may become increasingly important to effective management of the electric grid.

According to Ulrik Stridbaek, Chief Economist, Regulatory affairs at DONG Energy, greater volatility in supply from variable resources such as wind power will create greater value in shifting demand from hours with a high price to hours with a low price.

"So if power is priced correctly the incentives for customers to respond will increase with the expansion of e.g. wind power. If incentives are sufficient to trigger DR, this can contribute balancing the system. Otherwise other sources of flexibility will have to be found. New intelligent generation and demand such as micro generation and electric cars can help creating the framework where demand becomes more responsive, by triggering the necessary investments for intelligent demand," says Stridbaek, who is scheduled to speak during Intelligent Demand Response for Electricity Summit 2009, to be held in Amsterdam on 28-29 January 2009.

Stridbaek also spoke about few other issues in an interview with
smartelectricnews.com. Excerpts:

smartelectricnews.com: What according to you is the appropriate way to merge pre-existing energy infrastructure to intelligent ICT, Smart grids and Virtual Power plants?

Ulrik Stridbaek: Investments in the grid, including smart grids, will probably require regulatory incentives. When necessary regulated infrastructure is in place, there must be proper incentives to make use of the infrastructure (e.g. for VPPs) and integrate traditional and new types of resources.

The best way to create these incentives is through well designed markets, competition and market forces.

smartelectricnews.com: How should companies go about planning and executing DR and DSM programmes and also partnering with specialists for the same?

Ulrik Stridbaek: It is worth investing in DR resources if this is cheaper than the alternative resources. So first step must be to have a good feel for the cost and value of marginal resources in any given system. Next step is to have knowledge about the cost of DR.

This also requires close relationships with customers. Partnerships with consultants, aggregators and vendors comes after that, and must depend on the specific circumstances.

smartelectricnews.com: How can DSM play an important role in helping balance supply and demand in any energy market as well as help reduce price volatility and increase system reliability and security?

Ulrik Stridbaek: DR is a resource to be compared with other alternative resources to balance power supply and maintain reliability. DR can help reduce prices and volatility but volatility is also what gives incentives for DR in the first place.

smartelectricnews.com: When it comes to installation, maintenance and data management of such programmes, what factors do you think need to be taken into consideration for enablement cost where one-time cost includes equipment installation and administration and annual maintenance cost?

Ulrik Stridbaek: This is complex. One point for consideration is that a lot of potential DR resources requires up front investment, but once these have been incurred and demand has been automated, the cost of responding may be low. So once the investment has been incurred it is highly competitive with other alternative resources, such as generation from peakers.

smartelectricnews.com: It is said that Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) programme costs are less than half the cost of peak generation resources. How do you assess developments related to Auto-DR platform designed to automated, electronic price and reliability signals as well as site-specific demand response strategies?

Ulrik Stridbaek: This is under development but probably focused on specific sectors and applications, rather than in a broad roll-out. Initial target sectors could be electric cars and specific appliances.

Intelligent Demand Response for Electricity Summit 2009

Ulrik Stridbaek is scheduled to speak during Intelligent Demand Response for Electricity Summit 2009, to be held in Amsterdam on 28-29 January 2009.

For more information, click here:


Abbie Badcock ,
Smart Electric News,
T: +44 (0)207 375 7581

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