News item | 2011-12-06 | 09:15 AM

Customers – the key to success

Today, the power system is balanced by adjusting power generation to the anticipated load. Tomorrow’s power system, with a significant proportion of intermittent power, such as wind, will require the opposite. The electricity market will need consumers to change their consumption behaviour in accordance with the production volume.  

On the island of Gotland, Sweden, there is already large-scale wind-power production and there are plans to expand this. A new project aims to find ways to give the consumers the possibility and incentives to respond to changes in power generation.  

“We want to test new market models and introduce hourly metering and new grid tariffs for private customers,” Per-Olof Nylén, Sub-Project Manager for the customer involvement part of the Smart Grids Gotland pilot, says. “By adapting the behavior to the production situation, the customers will probably be able to save between EUR 100 and EUR 200 per year.” 

Behavioural changes

The goal for the test on Gotland is to include 2,000 households with a yearly consumption of more than 8,000kWh and 200, mainly dairy, farmers. Industrial customers will also be included.  

By hourly metering, customers are encouraged to shift loads from times of the day when production is low – and prices are high – due to wind conditions. For the grid tariffs, the aim is to shave off the power peaks. For example, if the customer does not exceed a certain level of maximum power load, the grid fee will be lower. This work will be an important knowledge base for future work and implementations.