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Dynamic demand

Technology launched to cut unnecessary power generation

Dynamic demand for electricity is a step closer with the launch of innovative new technology from energy company RLtec. Dynamic demand is a way of managing electricity consumption that delivers significant cost and carbon savings, and is increasingly recognised as a key technology for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.


According to RLtec, if every refrigeration unit in the country were fitted with its patented, low-cost technology, could close down one inefficient, coal-fired 750-megawatt power station with no effect felt by consumers. The UK government estimates that, if widely used, dynamic demand could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2 million tonnes of CO2.

In addition to refrigeration units, RLtec’s technology can be fitted to any electrical appliance that incorporates some form of electricity storage, including water heaters and air conditioning units. It enables those appliances to automatically modify their power consumption in response to second-by-second changes in the balance between supply and demand on the grid – without affecting performance. This means that the amount of spare generating capacity kept on to maintain that balance can be reduced. RLtec’s analysis shows that more than two-thirds of the UK’s balancing capacity comes from carbon emitting sources: 49 per cent from coal-fired power stations, and 20 per cent from gas-fired plant.

Andrew Howe, CEO of RLtec said: “There are clear benefits to grid operators, power suppliers and manufacturers in using this technology. The power stations currently used for supplying balancing response are usually fired by fossil fuels and need to be kept burning at a lower level to produce the power in required time – which is incredibly wasteful.

“However, our technology creates a ‘virtual power station’ that modifies the demand, rather than changing the amount of power that is generated. It makes power supply and distribution more cost effective, the grid more efficient, and appliances more attractive to environmentally aware consumers.”