The European Commission have been busy in recent months drawing up plans for a new electricity market. A press release last week stated the following :
Firstly, by spreading renewable energy generation across Europe through interconnected networks, high generation can compensate areas with lower generation. At the same time the market has to give clear financial incentives for renewable energy generators to make their production as predictable as possible. Furthermore, in periods of low generation, and high prices, by reducing their demand, consumers can help fill the gap by reducing their demand, while the market has to ensure they are adequately compensated for this role.So peak demand is to be phased out by switching off customers at peak times.
Are the EC really expecting that people will have to use candles and torches when they come in from work at 6pm during peak demand ? I have a feeling that this will simply transfer one form of fossil fuel energy generation (in power plants) to another local form such as diesel generators and gas cylinders.
What is happening is that once alot of intermittent forms of generation are integrated into an electricity system, consumption of electricity must also become intermittent. Supply must match demand. Smart meters are the wind turbine equivalent of an electric socket, an intermittent form of electricity use. I'm not sure how it's going to work for your local chipper who at 6pm will need to refuse orders. Or how families are going to explain to their hungry children that they can't switch on the cooker for another couple of hours.
|EC "Power to Consumers" Fact Sheet, July 2015|
Of course, energy efficiency should be encouraged, but what is being proposed here is a totally different ball game. This is about changing consumer behaviour to match the intermittency of wind and solar.