Red Eléctrica de España brought together GO15 experts from member-countries to discuss Demand-Side Management and Electric Vehicles issues

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A joint meeting of the GO15 working group 4 Flexilwatts, focusing on Demand-Side Management (DSM), and the working group 6 Electric Vehicles (EVs) took place on 22-24 May 2013 in Madrid at the headquarters of the Spanish power grid operator Red Eléctrica de España (REE). Experts from Eskom (South Africa), National Grid (UK), PJM Interconnection (USA), RTE (France), and Terna (Italy) joined the meeting and shared vision and strategies of their companies during the working sessions.

The electric power system of today is in transition towards a new energy model characterized by higher management complexity and a need to maintain security of power supply. DSM is a mechanism, which involves planning and improvement of measures aiming at changing the way the energy is consumed. DSM plays a major role in managing electricity demand allowing for higher response capacity, provides maximum integration of renewable energy sources into the grid, development of solutions to face challenges of power supply, more active participation of the consumers in the market, and increase in energy efficiency and sustainability.

Implementation of DSM measures also results in significant energy savings. According to the information shared by Eskom, the DSM program run by the company has brought over 3500 MW of savings since its inception in 2005. This is almost equivalent to the output of a typical power plant. Flexible demand-side measures have already been implemented in a number of countries all over the world, not only in industrial and commercial sectors, but also in a residential sector.

At the meeting, the GO15 experts underlined that aggregation of the electric power system, involving integration of EVs and energy storage into the grid, will create new tools to enhance flexibility of DSM and will allow power grid operators to ensure security and sustainability of the system. The experts have also stressed the importance of promoting usage of electric vehicles and integration of renewable energy sources to support reduction of CO2 emissions.

The GO15 members develop and implement a variety of DSM measures, the choice of which depends on generation and consumption profiles, availability of resources and specifics of each individual country-member. REE and RTE, for example, use “time-of-use network tariff”, which is based on shifting consumption caused by a price signal.

Another DSM mechanism, implemented by the GO15 members, is an interruptibility service, which provides a quick and efficient response to the needs of the electric power system in emergency situations and involves reduction of the electricity demand to a required level in response to a signal issued by a power grid operator (system operator).

The GO15 members are also looking into application of the new DSM tools to cope with system operation challenges including managing a daily load shape, which represents high ratio peaks vs. off peak demand and integration of high share of intermittent renewable generation as well as introduction of smart meters.

Development of the DSM mechanism and the EVs has been recognized by the GO15 members among the main challenges to be faced by the power grids operators of today and studied at GO15, with the aim of making GO15 a leader and a catalyst in the transition of the electric power sector towards the grid of the 21st century.

In 2013, GO15 studies will focus on exploring potential sources of negawatts (flexible megawatts with demand-side management measures), their application for the electric power system and necessary incentives to drive desired behavior.

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