Consistently volatile electricity market
Energy prices have risen in the last year, with most of that increase coming from third party charges. Add a consistently volatile electricity market, and many commentators believe prices will continue rising in the months and years ahead. So what’s the solution? Can changing supply arrangements really make such a difference?
Along with costs and volatility, the energy sector is experiencing a number of other key trends. Two of the biggies are the decentralisation of electricity generation and the integration of low-carbon technology.
Indeed, you may have already read about the opportunities presented by alternative energy generation and private wire networks – the latter simply meaning that electricity is not conveyed across the grid – and wondered what all the fuss is about.
Think of it this way: if you had a blank slate, the power to design it your way and start building from scratch – think SimCity (other megalomaniac games are available) – it’s unlikely you’d build centralised, one point-of-failure generation stock connected by electrical tendrils miles from point of supply. To most of us, that would seem an unfit solution and hugely inefficient. That’s what a revolution is all about. It’s when the masses realise that something isn’t fit for purpose in the present, even though it may have been in the past, and resolve themselves to bring about lasting change.
In simple terms, you use your own localised generation assets to assure supplies and better protect your organisation against market volatility and price hikes, including all those non-commodity costs that you have limited control over, no matter how much smarter or energy efficient you become. We’ve actually been working in this area for some time now, and recently gave it the name ‘Energy Resilience’.
Our approach, which has been described as “technically led value engineering” works like this.
Multi-disciplinary teams including specialist engineers and world-class project managers design and install high-quality generating equipment at a client premises. Typically, these are larger and more energy-intensive organisations, perhaps engaged in activities like manufacturing or food processing, and who are likely to benefit most.
We cover the costs of equipment and all installation, as well as operating and maintaining the equipment. The assets then generate cleaner electricity to supply the business with what it needs, when it needs it: the organisation is now off-grid. This fully configurable onsite generating plant and local electricity grid is complemented by energy trading expertise and additional energy management and optimisation services, as needed.
It’s an exciting prospect, to be sure. This generating and supply model not only provides you with cleaner, more affordable energy – perhaps reducing electricity spend by as much as 25 percent, and with lower embodied carbon – it also offers true resilience, with cost savings and assured supplies for 15 years’ ahead, and beyond. That’s the plan, anyway.
In our next blog, we’ll delve a little deeper into private wire, and how a service like this should work in practice.
In the meantime, why not test yourself, and see what kind of a city planner you are?
Download a simulation game and see what decisions you make. Are you a power station person or more of a distributed supply type?