Demand response in low-carbon power systems: a review of residential electrical demand response projects
2011-08-15T08:28:15Z (GMT) by
The transition to a future low-carbon power system will increase the need for and value of demand response – where demand can be curtailed or shifted in time according to the network’s requirements. The electricity supply industry is investing heavily in ‘smart’ technologies, partly based on the assumption that demand response will be available when it is needed, yet this is an unfamiliar concept to most consumers, who still view electricity as a resource that can be consumed as and when they want it. That such a gap exists between the reality on the ground and the requirements of the future is a cause for concern, yet the methods proposed today to achieve demand response are based predominantly on assumptions that people will accept and respond to variations in the price of electricity. There is however growing evidence that the ‘people are economic actors’ approach is inadequate when dealing with the complexities of energy-use within the home. This paper reviews existing residential demand response projects, and supports the growing realisation that the principal challenge in demand response is no longer the technology itself but rather its acceptance and use by the consumer. In order to deal with this challenge, a more holistic approach to demand response is needed, one that can better deal with both the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sides of the system.