Demand-side flexibility: Requirements, Potentials and Values

The aim of this project is to develop an in-depth understanding of the potential for the provision of a range of flexibility services from different demand sectors, and their values to the whole energy system and consumers. This project includes three research tasks as described below:

Task 1: For selected plausible future scenarios, the scale and characteristics of a range of flexibility-based services required by the GB power system will be studied. Magnitude (MW), response rate (MW/second) and duration (minutes) of flexibility services required by the GB power system in future years will be investigated.

Task 2: This task will investigate the scale and characteristics of flexibility available in selected demand sectors, such as domestic buildings (Qadrdan), non-domestic buildings (Ben),  transport sector (Sivakumar), and industries (Qadrdan). It will inform the extent to which flexibility from demand sectors could contribute to the systems needs identified in Task 1, above. We will study the technical aspects (such as magnitude and duration) of flexibility while also considering the effects on everyday life, socioeconomic conditions as well as local/regional circumstances (Torriti), with the Equity and Place Themes. Therefore, this task will focus on technically available flexibility, commercially viable flexibility, and realistically available flexibility (considering demand patterns and willingness to participate in the flexibility provision).

Task 3: The role of demand-side flexibility to improve the resilience of the whole energy system and the resilience of the consumers will be investigated. From the whole energy system perspective, the impacts of demand-side flexibility on metrics such as Loss of Load Expectation (LoLE), Expected Energy Unserved (EEU), and De-rated Capacity margin will be quantified. This task will investigate the extent to which demand-side flexibility could contribute to mitigating the impacts of a range of specific ‘shocks’ such as extreme weather events. It will also examine the resilience of consumers in terms of, for example, bill affordability, willingness to reduce comfort and the ability to re-schedule activities.

Research questions:

  • What is the potential for the provision of a range of flexibility services from different demand sectors (domestic, non-domestic, transport), and their values to the whole energy system and consumers?