11.05.12: A successful demonstration on an international scale of a smart grid energy system will help achieve full-scale, mass deployment, say UK and Japanese energy experts.
A new report published today by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), the UK Government’s Science and Innovation Network and the UK Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network, captures the key points raised by leading energy experts who were brought together at the British Embassy in Tokyo to discuss smart energy system development, specifically in the UK and the Asia-Pacific region.
Representatives from both the academic and commercial sectors saw current funding models for smart grid demonstration as a considerable concern with very few demonstration projects considering how different financial models will work in different countries and regions. They proposed international demonstration, where smart grid technologies along with a business model and pricing model are put in place in a small region, as a way of generating a success story to help de-risk the deployment of smart grid technologies. They also acknowledged that a wide range of organisations would need to be involved in delivering successful demonstrations in addition to system providers and technology developers, including universities, local authorities and government, housing associations, transport operators and building contractors. Consumers will also play a critical role.
Dr Aidan Rhodes, Knowledge Exchange Associate at UKERC who edited the report comments: “Consumer engagement is important for any public smart system trial, and therefore consumer or local-area partnerships are vital in order to engage with, involve and educate consumers. Companies such as consumer watchdogs, or others with understanding of consumer behaviour, are important as well.”
The experts found that smart energy systems have the ability to create other benefits beyond cost reduction which could extend into other sectors and usage scenarios, such as social standing, green awareness and healthcare, where appliances could store occupants' usage patterns and infer information about their health.
Dr Rhodes adds: “To succeed in the marketplace, smart systems will need to be reliable, with very low failure rates. Customer behaviour is often strongly shaped by adverse experiences, especially at critical moments. In Japan, especially since the March 2011 earthquake and the resulting energy shortages, there is a desire by energy users for independence and autonomy. If smart systems can give customers a sense of freedom and a lack of dependence on a specific supplier, this would add value to those customers.”
This is one of a number of smart grid meeting reports, published by UKERC, the Science and Innovation Network and the UK Energy Generation and Supply Knowledge Transfer Network (EG&S KTN). Previous workshops have focused on Policy, regulatory and social aspects and smart grid capabilities.
To download a copy of the full report please visit - https://connect.innovateuk.org/web/future-and-emerging-opp/ap-uk-smart-grids-report Note, EG&S KTN is a membership organisation and you will need to join in order to download the reports. Membership is free.
For more information, or to contact Dr Aidan Rhodes, please contact: Lindsay Wright, Head of Communications at the UK Energy Research Centre 020 7594 2669 lindsay.wright at ukerc.ac.uk Charlotte Knight, Communications Officer at the UK Energy Research Centre 020 7594 1573 charlotte.knight at ukerc.ac.uk
About the UK Energy Research Centre
The UK Energy Research Centre, which is funded by Research Councils UK, carries out world-class research into sustainable future energy systems. It is the hub of UK energy research and the gateway between the UK and the international energy research communities. Our interdisciplinary, whole-systems research informs UK policy development and research strategy. www.ukerc.ac.uk Follow us on Twitter @UKERCHQ