Future of Energy

The technology solution to reducing UK emissions

Posted on 09 July 2019
By Wayne Mitchell
Wayne Mitchell
Director of npower Business Solutions, Energy HQ

Wayne has worked in the energy industry for 20 years, starting as an Analyst for an energy consultancy before moving into business development and pricing for npower Business Solutions. Upon joining the company he focused on strengthening relationships with external consultants, before taking up his current position heading up Energy HQ, which provides energy solutions and risk management services to UK businesses.

When it comes to cutting the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, the government is banking on new technologies coming to the fore to help make this ambition deliverable.

Yet certain solutions seen as playing a key part – such as carbon capture and storage – have yet to reach commercial scale.

Blockchain is another technology that’s expected to underpin much-needed solutions (see our recent blog). But here, we are beginning to see real-life applications start to emerge that look set to deliver promising results.

RecorDER is one such project.

Linking UK generation and storage assets

A collaboration between the National Grid System Operator, Electron (an energy technology company) and local distribution network operators UK Power Networks and SP Energy Networks, RecorDER will use blockchain technology to create a shared UK register for generation and storage asset data.

Network operators, aggregators and regulators can then collaborate to create shared datasets, with the aim of integrating distributed assets and allowing them to play their full role in balancing the electricity system.

Asset owners and managers can also link their assets to third-party datasets or authorise their asset data to be used in connected systems.

Simplifying the process

And by employing blockchain as the enabling technology, the integration layer can be deployed and hosted by collaborating parties, removing the need to create either a large-scale infrastructure project or a central party to host the system.

It’s a very efficient way to link assets such as battery storage, renewable generation and potentially other embedded generation to enhance balancing UK energy supply and demand.

The ultimate aim is to facilitate greater decarbonisation and reduce the overall operating cost of the UK energy system.

Storage and DSR set to increase

And as battery storage and demand side response (DSR) assets increase, the benefits are only set to grow.

For example, according to Renewable UK, planning permission for battery storage

The market for DSR is also increasing, with the Association for Decentralised Energy predicting it could reach 9GW by 2030 (currently, 1GW of DSR is delivered via the Capacity Market and 2GW by Triad management). 

New opportunities for business consumers

So the opportunities for businesses to become part of the solution to reducing the UK’s carbon emission are set to increase.

And even more so if blockchain technology is able to create platforms that make participation far easier and more efficient.

If you want to know more about using your business assets to support energy system balancing – or just about how you can use consumption flexibility in your business to reduce your overall energy costs – get in touch with the experts at Energy HQ. You can contact them on 0800 193 6866 or send an email to nbs@npower.com.

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