The flexibility opportunity for businesses

The energy revolution is not on the horizon, it’s happening now. Following our webinar on this topic, James Graham, Head of Sales in our Asset Optimisation team, explains why businesses need to change the way they view and use energy to take advantage of the flexibility opportunity.

Most in the business world will be aware of the low-carbon transition happening in the global energy system. The change we’ve seen in Great Britain over just a few years has been dramatic – since 2014, coal’s contribution to our energy mix has dropped almost 80% and last year saw the first coal-free 24 hours since the use of fossil fuel began.

Renewable energy is stepping in to fill the gap and this fundamentally changes how our energy system works. Most renewable sources are intermittent, so the amount of energy generated varies considerably based on whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.

This makes it much harder to balance supply and demand on the grid, creating a new opportunity for generators and consumers to provide flexibility as a resource to balance the system while supporting decarbonisation efforts.

Benefits of being an active player

Demand Side Response (DSR) is an idea that has been around for a while, but now it’s becoming a ‘must-do’ for businesses for both sustainability and financial reasons.

DSR involves using energy more responsibly by identifying flexibility in your operations and turning down your consumption based on price signals. We summarise the three main benefits as:

1. Savings and revenue: Avoid expensive peak time charges by shifting your consumption and access new revenue streams for providing flexibility
2. Business resilience: Energy infrastructure, technology, markets and costs will look very different in five years so prepare yourself for this now by being an active player
3. Sustainability: Play your part in enabling the renewables agenda and support wider decarbonisation efforts

Flexibility is a highly-prized asset in the new energy system and businesses that embrace the opportunity will reap the benefits. Businesses that don’t get on board will simply be footing the bill for those that do!

It all starts with a site survey

Identifying and finding value from demand side flexibility is not as complicated as it sounds. Most businesses will have some assets or processes that could be used and even small amounts across different sites can be aggregated to make a meaningful contribution.

The best place to start your journey is with a site survey. Our engineers can visit your sites and speak to your engineers on the ground, getting to know your processes, on-site technology and operational parameters. From there, we would put together an Optimisation Plan bespoke to your business and provide the all-important commercials.

As the process from site survey to becoming operational will take at least three months, we would suggest getting started now - so you can start taking advantage of the flexibility opportunity as soon as possible.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss your flexibility options or to arrange a site survey.

> Watch the full webinar for more information on revenue streams

Download our Guide to unlocking the value in flexible assets

> Saint-Gobain UK DSR case study


About the author

James joined SmartestEnergy in 2012 as a Business Development Manager after more than a decade’s experience working in the energy sector and later became Head of Direct Sales. In his current role he is responsible for delivery of sales through SmartestEnergy’s Asset Optimisation function. His role focuses on working with customers to deliver value from flexibility across generation and demand response. His career in the energy industry has seen him hold senior roles with companies including Reactive Technologies and Bergen Energi.

> Connect with James on LinkedIn