First: the National Grid was designed for outdated energy production using fossil fuels, from one central point. Renewables, meanwhile, work the other way around. They are generated all over the place and work best for local use.
Second: the intermittency problem. The more renewables we have on the grid, the less control we have. We can't ask the sun to be brighter, or the wind to be stronger!
Our work is about balancing the supply and demand of energy to create a more efficient, and more renewable-friendly power network.
How it Works:
All homes are different. Not everyone's roof can take a solar panel, and not everyone can have an electric car, but we all need to get involved to help tackle the climate crisis and achieve net zero emissions.
We work with three types of local energy pioneers, with an option for everyone to maximise efficiency when it comes to energy:
• Grid Monitors: People who want to help out, but don't necessarily have the means for home renewable energy production or “low carbon assets”. You can track your energy usage with our monitoring devices, and this helps us to understand how and when energy is used.
• Consumers: People who don't have low-carbon assets, but do have appliances like dishwashers and washing machines. Using our control units, consumers can change the timing of their energy use to optimise energy use to save carbon, and money spent on bills.
• Prosumers: People who have low-carbon assets such as solar panels or heat pumps, or are planning to invest in them. We can work with prosumers to get these installed at a discount. We monitor the energy generated, and how you use it, and work with you to figure out the most efficient way to use your energy for both carbon savings and cutting your bills.
These three pathways will help us to reach net zero emissions in Huntly. High energy demand at peak times can stress the energy grid, and by using various smart technologies with our energy pioneers we look at reducing that stress. This means renewable energy can be a bigger part of local energy use.
When the grid is stressed, more fossil fuels need to be burnt to plug the gap at peak times. Likewise, renewables aren't used efficiently at off-peak hours and sometimes end up being switched off. By helping to reduce that stress, by shifting away from peak times, we can make the best use of renewables and cut fossil fuels.
In short, something as simple as changing what time you set your washing machine off can do a world of good!
Each home or building is different, and we need to make sure we tailor the work we do. A solution for one building could cause problems for another building, so it's important to find the appropriate solution each time.
Everyone can do something!
Reductions in energy use, and therefore carbon emissions, by our energy pioneers.
Reduction in energy bills for energy pioneers.
Increased use of renewables on the grid.
New renewable technology installed locally.