It has been revealed that the UK could be saving up to £8 billion a year on energy if it was to implement nationwide smart energy. The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) laid our their vision of the future of the UK’s electricity network, which included more links to mainland Europe and a much larger capacity to store energy.
Storing energy from renewables has always been an issue because wind and solar energy are intermittent depending on the weather and time of day. If it is extremely windy at night, when demand is at its lowest, the electricity generated must be stored. Earlier this week Scottish Power announced that they were planning to double their electricity storage capacity, however, other investment throughout the UK will be required.
How the smart energy would work
The national grid would be directly connected to household appliances such as fridges and washing machine, while demand was at its lowest it would contact the washing machine to see if it would like to turn on. On the other hand while demand was at its highest it would contact your fridge to turn off for 20 minutes while someone in another part of the UK was cooking their tea. Therefore households are only paying the expensive peak demand rates if completely necessary.
Experts believe that this will become a necessity as the UK’s electricity demand grows. Over the next half a century as more and more people in the UK purchase electric powered cars, the pressure on the national grid will only increase.