Responsible energy use isn’t just about consuming less energy, it’s also about when you consume it.
That was the suggestion from Chris Curry, Head of Flexibility at Bryt Energy, who spoke to future Net Zero about the importance of a flexible energy system on the road to delivering net zero, as well as how businesses can not only play their part in the transition, but also stand to benefit from it.
The term flexibility broadly refers to the near-term management of the need to balance electricity supply and demand – Chris highlighted that while this has always been necessary, even before the system began to decarbonise, but noted that it is going to play a bigger role in the future.
He said this was largely down to two reasons – firstly, an increase in distributed, renewable forms of generation to drive down emissions means that while generation has become greener, it has also become more intermittent and less controllable.
He emphasised that this means much deeper levels of flexibility will be needed to manage this on a national level as the nation’s reliance on renewable energy continues to increase.
Chris also pointed to a growing need to balance local energy networks, which he said will require the system to be balanced from a bottom-up perspective, with technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), onsite generation and local battery storage all offering more flexibility capability but also requiring local networks to be more in control of their individual systems.
This is where Bryt Energy say businesses can benefit – Chris said: “There has been a real evolution in our energy system around generation, vehicles, heat and local balancing and the mechanisms are now there to reward business for supporting the transition
“Agile tariffs and smart controls mean that lots of businesses can access savings and revenues quite easily whilst contributing to the energy transition.
It’s also a really good way to strengthen the business case around technologies that businesses might already be looking at, if you consider heat pumps or EV chargers as examples. These devices, or at least the better ones, will generally be smart-ready so we could easily profile these against prevailing energy market prices and make the cost of heating your offices or charging your cars significantly cheaper and significantly better for the network.”