Centre for Net Zero explores role of consumers in flexible energy systems

It will work with researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Cologne to better understand how consumers respond to changing wholesale prices

The Big Zero report

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The Centre for Net Zero has launched a new research project focusing on how consumers interact with energy systems and how their actions and behaviour can help create new sources of flexibility.

It will work with researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Cologne, led by Peter Cramton, to analyse smart meter and time-of-use tariff data from Octopus Energy customers in order to better understand how consumers respond to changing wholesale prices under a range of electricity market conditions.

The researchers will investigate technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs), heat pumps, smart tariffs and smart thermostats to see how they interact with the grid and to explore what opportunities they offer to help balance load.

The study will compare behaviours from consumers in the UK and Texas, US, with the ultimate aim of informing how the retail market needs to change in order to benefit the public and enable a clean, distributed energy grid.

The Centre for Net Zero is headed up by Lucy Yu – she said: “We’re delighted to announce this partnership with Peter Cramton and his team of globally leading researchers. This research will advance our mission to realise faster, fairer and more affordable routes to net zero. We know that data and digital innovation combined with low carbon technologies can transform energy markets as we seek to rapidly decarbonise.

“This research will deepen our understanding of the potential for more flexible energy consumption from different types of households, and what this means for a just transition. We look forward to sharing our findings as we build up to COP26 later this year and the first public code release of our agent-based model (ABM), which focuses on a people-centred simulation of the energy transition.”

 

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