It has become globally acceptable to reach a point when all of our future energy will come from renewable sources and the virtual elimination of harmful emissions. The big question for many, however, is how to get from where we are now to finding a place in this bright future scenario. It is becoming increasingly clear that the answer lies, not just in the invention of new technology, rather, the future is in the hands of every energy user.
Renewable energy is dependent upon weather conditions and seasonality. In one moment there can be massive oversupply and, in another moment, a huge undersupply. In the existing Electricity System we have power stations that we can turn on and off in order to modify our supply to balance with our needs. This “turning-on and off” is what gives our system the flexibility required to deal with our own varying needs and also makes it possible to balance current natural, renewable energy production.
The future energy solution depends on a radical change. A change in which the user of electricity becomes the supplier of the flexibility and power balancing in ever increasing amounts to enable a steadily increasing switch to renewable energy with all its intermittency challenges.
Here, at the Tallaght Smart Grid Test Bed, we have already proven that the first step in this great Energy Transition must be the creation of a local test bed that enables people and organisations to work together within a target area (Smart Grid Cell), to develop the balancing and flexibility capabilities that can be built on to enable ever increasing levels of renewable energy and improved Grid Stability at the same time.
“The development of renewables together with the digitalisation of the power system have made possible a paradigm change at the European system level. The growing need for flexibility makes customers the key enabler of the energy transition. They are now playing a more and more active role in the energy market through smart network, smart home and new services, taking ownership of the way they use and consume their electricity.”
2016 European Union Sustainable Energy Week.
This is our vision as stated by the highest experts in the field. The Tallaght Smart Grid Test Bed is reaching out to people and organisations that are keen to become involved in this radical Energy Transition towards a 100% renewable clean energy future.