Technological developments are already blurring the line between producers, distributers and consumers. Companies are increasingly looking for opportunities to become power producers in the new urban energy rush and could become significant contributors in the future.
According to Arup, transactive energy systems will enable prosumers – those who design things for their own needs – to respond to triggers such as energy price and grid frequency in real time. As Alan Thomas, head of global energy systems at Arup, points out however: “It’s what you do with this that counts, without a surrounding ecosystem it’s like having an iPhone without any apps.”
Research by Arup and Siemens indicates that the value to end-users of distributed energy systems investment is significant. Operational cost-reductions ranging between 8 and 28 per cent and a return on investment between three and seven years were observed, based on a series of modelled case studies around the world. The revenue potential is also high.
The National Grid urgently requires more flexibility to manage the grid and its ancillary services market, with different types of capacity required to deal with demand and supply imbalances, is expected to be worth around £2 billion by 2021.