Until recently, the UK government’s future energy plans relied heavily on expensive new nuclear power plants to provide baseload capacity as old fossil fuel plants shut down. This was also going to ensure grid stability to support increased intermittent and volatile renewable generation. However, the energy system is fundamentally changing. We don’t need expensive nuclear power to keep the lights on – a more flexible energy system will enable renewables to flourish.
Electrical load is the component in a circuit that draws or consumes power as opposed to providing it. On a small scale, such as a torchlight, load can be the lightbulb. In a consumer’s home, load is determined by multiple factors, such as the type of devices being used, the frequency of their usage, and the time of day or year. The daily minimum level of electricity demand is known as the “baseload”. “Peak load” is the amount of electricity needed when demand is at its highest. As different energy technologies have inherently different mechanical features, baseload and peak load demands are typically supplied by different types of generation plants.