What types of customers are participating on the consumption side? Many consumers possess flexibility in their use of electricity. This applies especially to customers with inert processes such as pumping, heating, melting, crushing, processing etc. These customers can shift their heavy consumption periods to times of low cost electricity without compromising their operations. This is what we call Demand Response: Consumers shift demand from high-price to lower-price times of the day in a constant optimization.
Of course not every consumer is able to change his electricity-consuming processes on a quarter-hourly basis. And not every plant is able to offer a great amount of flexibility. For example, some biogas plants feature relatively small gas storage tanks or they are obliged to provide heat to a local heat network, which results in a certain amount of obligatory electricity production. All the processes and their restrictions involved in the plant’s operation need to be analyzed in order to determine the range of flexibility of that particular power plant – and the same applies to flexibility restrictions of other power producers and even consumers.
When bottlenecks are identified, these can often be minimized to enlarge the amount of flexibility coming from a single installation networked in our VPP – for example by investing in larger tanks, in heat buffers etc. To secure the future power supply, such investments are extremely useful. 18 GW of conventional nuclear and coal/lignite capacity are leaving the market by 2025 in Germany alone. Even with more installations of wind and solar, there will be times in the year, when there is hardly any wind or solar power. In these times flexible renewables that are able to ramp up and flexible consumers that can ramp down will be in high demand.
Disclaimer: Next Kraftwerke does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy and actuality of the information provided. This article is for information purposes only and does not replace individual legal advice.