Technology To Lead Energy Revolution
Technology has revolutionised numerous sectors over the past 10 years. Social Media, Banking, Transportation, Communication – the list goes on. Old, archaic ways of doing things have been replaced. Users now have full control just by pressing a button on their phone. Could this kind of technology step change be making its way toward the energy sector?
Truly transformational change within the energy sector over the last twenty years has been limited, but things have certainly evolved. Full market deregulation took place at the turn of the century. Flexible procurement opened up to larger consuming businesses. AMR metering was introduced to the market for NHH and smaller gas meters (although adoption has taken much longer than first anticipated). Full adoption of P272 will take place by April 2017. We’re also seeing the water market in England and Wales deregulate next year too.
Other changes, mainly government backed, were introduced to the sector with a focus on forcing businesses to lower energy consumption:
- Climate Change Levy introduction
- Carbon Price Floor
- Carbon Reduction Commitment
The main ethos for these schemes was simple – use less or pay more!
This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing and each scheme has been successful to varying degrees. But there has been little to no focus or incentives introduced to the market to look at how we can become more intelligent in how we use energy.
However, it seems that this is all about to change. There is a lot of talk within the industry that we are on the cusp of a real revolution; in not only how we buy energy, but how we use it too. And technology will be the driving force.
Five years ago, if you were to speak with a standard business owner and suggest that they reduce their energy consumption between the peak hours of the working day, the common response would be: “We can’t possibly do that, we need to use energy at all times for our business to function”. A potential alternative at the time would be back-up generation – but this was usually expensive, unpredictable and difficult to install.
Now businesses can take advantage of photo-voltaic systems. It’s cheaper than ever due to the advances in technology and very easy to install. The introduction of this technology makes Demand Side Management much more viable. Not only can you save money by shifting when energy is used but you can also get paid by National Grid for reducing consumption when the network is experiencing peak demand.
In terms of market size there is still a very low participation level from businesses taking advantage of ways to use energy in a different way. However, as technology evolves with smart metering and devices being connected to the internet, it will become a very viable option to the masses.
We aren’t far away from this type of technology revolution. The Internet of Energy will change the way in which we buy energy and the way in which we use energy. It’s just a matter of time.