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.
The Launch Event of the Faraday Grid, including a live demonstration of the Faraday Exchanger device attracted over 150 guests from academia, science, and business. This truly unique technology is able to dramatically increase the amount of renewable energy in the grid, reduce carbon emissions and reduce the cost of energy to consumers. In this review, Richard Dowling, Chief Economist reflects on night and the implications of this groundbreaking technology.
In the current hardware of electricity systems, the supply-demand-balance has a very important implication for maintaining the system’s frequency, which needs to be stable each second of the day for the system to function properly. Non-standard frequencies can harm both transformers and appliances in people’s homes. As the energy mix changes, the feasibility of utility-scale photovoltaics as a frequency response is an area of current interest and research. The Faraday Grid resolves short-term balancing issues by modulating power flows to reduce their noise, dynamically managing the voltage and the frequency in the electricity grid in doing so.
White Paper by University of Edinburgh Chancellor’s Fellow Dr Harry van der Weijde analysing the current status of electricity grids and markets considering clean energy goals. The paper finds that the current electricity system is fast approaching a breaking point and will not be able to handle higher levels of renewable energy without substantial new costs that would hit consumers. Dr van der Weijde concludes that the Faraday Grid can resolve the challenge of increasing renewable energy penetration and preventing the looming threat of doubling or tripling of longer term electricity prices.