Demand Side Management and Flexibility in Tomorrow’s Power Systems
Guarantee a constant balance between generation and load is the cardinal rule for power systems.
The general scene of power systems over the past years has strongly evolved due to two main major reasons: the increasing share of renewable intermittent energy sources, and the increasing share of electricity in the energy mix, with dynamic load and progress in automation and control but also with the arrival of new stakeholders and market rules.
With the strong increase of electricity generation from intermittent energy sources, what has been marginal becomes central to system operators. Famous examples include on how generation may peak when consumption is down: wind generation at night (and negative energy prices), or solar at noon (and the famous “duck curve”).
A variety of global solutions
The necessity of increased demand side management (DSM) and flexibility is widely shared amongst power grid operators and electricity stakeholders in general. The existence of international organizations such as GO15, which gathers some of the world’s largest power grid operators, enables to share experience in see which solutions are specific and which could be adopted or adapted to other systems.
Battery storage is growing fast in some systems, like California. The speed of new technology and possible drop in prices could turn them more competitive and present. Likewise, the strong push in electric vehicles (EV) is opening a large window of opportunity and changes. The potential stress for the system to charge EVs at specific moments -but who can forecast how the customers will behave depending on electricity tariffs? – will be combined with the prospect of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) to increase system reliability and resilience.
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