Question: How much money could smart energy save per year?
Answer: £8billion – This is estimated by the government’s infrastructure advisers
The National Infrastructure Commission or the NIC are envisaging a smart energy revolution with extra cables linking the National Grid to mainland Europe.
They are saying that the UK needs to store much more energy from intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
Experts claim that it is the first step to a full-scale “Internet of Energy”, with web-enabled home appliances such as freezers and washing machines linked to the grid.
The experts envisage that at the time of peak demand, an energy firm’s computer will communicate with your smart washing machine to ask if power can be switched off for a while to allow your neighbour to use some of the energy to cook dinner.
This too will work with appliances such as freezers because a well-insulated freezer will still stay cold without electricity for a while, so it will agree to power down shortly.
The plan would then be to reward customers with a credit on their energy bill for all the energy that they have saved.
With this method is already being used with firms like the hotel chain Marriott. The hotels allow its air conditioning systems to be switched off to save power when electricity demand peaks. The air conditioning still stays cool because of the volume of cold water in it, so guests don’t even notice. With a similar system implemented across thousands of homes, smart energy means that the grid will need fewer power stations than it was planning to meet peak demand.
The chairman of the commission, Lord Adonis stated: “Our existing power stations are closing down and their replacements will be radically different as we de-carbonise supply to reduce emissions.
“This represents an enormous challenge, but it leaves the UK uniquely placed to benefit from exciting innovations set to transform the global electricity market.
“The UK can lead the world in harnessing these innovations. We do not call for new subsidies or significant public spending, but rather a level playing field through fairer regulation and a better managed network to allow these exciting new technologies to compete.
“If we get this right, a Smart Power Revolution could save consumers £8bn a year.”
I think this is a very interesting and innovative system and it is certainly a step in the right direction.
What are your thoughts on Smart energy?
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