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Electricity system management to depend on consumers’ needs in future
2017-07-13

Electricity system management to depend on consumers’ needs in future

Electricity consumers can contribute to a more effective management of the electricity system and better utilize possibilities provided by the electricity market. A feasibility study is being carried out to determine the potential of demand side response in Lithuania. 
 
The feasibility study will provide an opportunity for more than 500 electricity consumers (business companies, industrial enterprises and residents) to voice their expectations and needs concerning their engagement in demand side response service. In practice this service means that consumers will benefit from turning up or turning down demand in real time during peak periods and saving on electricity costs during off-peak hours. The findings of the feasibility study will show whether residents and companies are prepared to use the demand side response service, and give an insight into the perspective of this service in Lithuania. 
 
“European electricity markets are undergoing transformation – electricity consumers become producers of electricity and the providers of balancing services. As active participants of the market they contribute to a more effective management of the electricity system. This trend is gradually making its way in Lithuania. The objective of the feasibility study is to determine circumstances under which the demand side response service could take hold in Lithuania and establish technical conditions for developing the demand side response service,” said Daivis Virbickas, CEO of the Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator Litgrid.   
 
“In the future, consumers will not only participate in the electricity market by producing electricity from renewable resources or storing it in the batteries of electric cars and other devices, but will also help to ensure more effective management of electricity distribution network systems. It is necessary to develop models for encouraging consumers to use more electricity when its price is  lowest, for example, on windy or sunny days and from the nearest located electricity production sources,” stated  Dalia Andrulionienė, CEO of the electricity and natural gas distribution company Energijos Skirstymo Operatorius (ESO).
 
The feasibility study is the first attempt to encourage electricity transmission and distribution operators to rethink the role of consumers in the electricity system and provide them with tools to take action. The demand side response service may be vital for heavy industry as well as wood processing or food companies, which are energy intensive, as well as enterprises which can modify their production schedules in a flexible way. The demand side response service would be useful for residents who heat their houses with electricity or heat pumps, or use other electricity-intensive devices. 
 
The feasibility study, which was initiated by Litgrid and ESO, is carried out by the winner of a public procurement tender – an international team comprised of the representatives of the Lithuanian company providing energy consultancy services Ekotermija and the Danish company EA Energy Analyses. The feasibility study will assess potential providers of the demand side response service by taking into account their electricity consumption tendencies and technical possibilities, and establish technical requirements for transmission and distribution system operators. It will be carried out by the middle of 2018. 
 
The demand side response enables consumers to regulate their electricity consumption by actively participating in the electricity market or through the suppliers of this service. 
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