TIME for a Change?
"When You Use Energy Is Now More Important Than How Much You Use."
The energy world is changing... and changing FAST!
In the next few years, we will see electricity bills that reflect more when we use our energy, as opposed to the current crude metric of how much energy we use. This is linked to how we now create electricity from intermittent clean renewable sources, versus the old way of turning on and off fossil fuelled power stations at will.
This is easily seen in the EnergyElephant smart energy traffic light for Ireland and Northern Ireland: https://energyelephant.com/page-traffic-light and in many other countries across Europe (https://electricitymap.tmrow.co/).
"Prices, Carbon and Supply Security are all now based on Time"
This will have drastic impacts on energy and carbon targets as well as energy budgets. Instead of the current system of focusing on simply reducing the overall demand of electricity, it will soon become more profitable and sustainable to shift demand rather than simply reducing demand throughout the year. In fact, it might be better to INCREASE electricity demand at times when there is excessive intermittent renewable electricity generation, as opposed to the current system of curtailing supply.
Take as an example the next two days in the EU country of Ireland. On Wednesday (12th April 2017) morning, renewable electricity supply is expected to peak at over 50% of demand. However, by Thursday morning renewable electricity supply is expected to drop to just below 5%. This translates into a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions and a big jump in overseas imports of fossil fuels to power the network.
"Smart Businesses Have Already Prepared For These Changes and Challenges"
For ORGANISATIONS this is a huge change and challenge. Time of Use tariffs will soon reflect these costs and carbon pricing may compound the measures even further. Also energy targets focused exclusively on total energy use reductions will soon need to encompass the time of savings and not just the quantity as savings may just offset renewable energy use and not contribute to carbon emission reductions.
We need to bring transparency to the energy world and make the move to a low carbon economy a reality. This will mean we need to make decisions about the types of energy we use, how we can reduce waste/use energy more efficiently, whether we can self generate clean energy onsite ourselves and, perhaps most importantly, the timing of our energy use.