As UK businesses navigate further lockdown restrictions, with many businesses encouraging a home and office working balance, electricity demand is set to fluctuate once again, much like it did during the initial UK lockdown period in Spring 2020.
Despite the recent increase in electricity demand suggesting that business and economic activity was returning closer to pre-COVID levels, new restrictions may pose further stability issues on electricity demand across the UK.
Analysis from Cornwall Insight previously stated that energy demand for the rest of year is likely to remain similar to 2019-20 levels. However, due to the increase in Coronavirus cases, projections are highly uncertain. James Brabban, Wholesale Manager at Cornwall Insight, states that despite the warm weather in August contributing to the rise in demand for air conditioning and cooling, there is a clear overall trend of demand recovery, directly linked to the relaxation of lockdown measures and businesses reopening. However, as coronavirus restrictions tighten again, the country could experience another significant drop in demand.
Figure 1 – Graph published by National Grid demonstrating that demand for power fell by as much as 20% during lockdown. https://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/stories/grid-at-work-stories/4-ways-lockdown-life-affected-uk-electricity-use
Whilst the National Grid is prepared and used to dealing with drops in demand, this fluctuation does provide the network with some stability challenges. Such low demand can leave the network overwhelmed with excess power, and, previously, solar and wind farms were asked to switch off to help reduce the excess power generation and prevent blackouts from occurring.
These demand issues are currently affecting businesses and their operations, and stability issues will continue to be a concern as the electricity network relies more on renewable energy sources to meet the UK Government’s 2050 net-zero target. This highlights some of the challenges businesses will face in order to contribute to the country’s low carbon targets, and steps should be taken to protect operations from power failures, especially for those with critical operations.
What can businesses do to ease stability issues?
Battery Energy Storage Solutions, such as Powerstar VIRTUE, can help businesses cope with the fluctuation in demand, and eliminate risks of power outages, which have significantly increased due to the reduction in demand, with site-wide Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) capabilities.
As a leading-edge, behind-the-meter battery storage system with full UPS capabilities, Powerstar VIRTUE can provide seamless support to a site in response to power failures, taking over from the grid and supporting an entire site with stored energy within milliseconds of detecting a grid event. This enables businesses to maintain all operations when a power failure occurs, preventing significant and costly interruptions that can threaten the bottom line.
If your business is struggling with the fluctuation of electricity demand, and has been impacted by power outages during the Coronavirus lockdown, contact Powerstar today and learn how smart energy technologies can not only protect your business’ operations, but also enhance energy efficiency and contribute to your businesses’ wider energy objectives.
16 October 2020