Is Demand Response Dead?

I talked to hundred of Demand Response specialists at a lot of conferences this year around the world and it seems pretty interesting to see how the Demand Response market is changing.

We started with something like “Demand Response will save our planet” because it was clear, that new generation capabilities are more than limited. We moved to a set of pilots and prove our concepts, some Smart Cities have been advertised widely. In USA a number of “prove of concepts” i heard of is so big, that everyone would finally decide whether the concept worth spreading or not. But still there is no clear vision and more pilots to come. Why? The reason as I see it after a lot of conversations and projects review is not the consumer, not the education, and definitely not technology.

Let’s look at the idea – Consumers will shut down some of it’s equipment under pricing signals from utility. Well, that’s pretty much all the concept. So, all the infrastructure – two way communication, smart meters (sic!), in-home displays, integration platforms, not to mention everything on the backend. Just to curtail the load 3 times a year. I’m not buying.

Some may think that it’s just one small case, that there are a lot of other different Smart Grid applications. But the consumer thinks this way. And he is not buying. I talked to the students, who received the letter from the University, asking to turn off the light due to Demand Response event. And I didn’t find any interest in participation “to save Utilities money”.

Something needs to change. In perception, in branding, in vendors’ positioning of their products.

What I see is a clear shift now from Demand Response to Demand Management. And the difference is that now no one is expected to Respond to any Demands. Now Demand should be managed in a smooth reliable predictable way. This is the same technology, but it is devoted not just to Shave the Peak, but to flattern the curve, react to possible faults, decrease the price to all the participants. Demand Management is a way to effectively balance the load not by manipulating the Generation but.. You got this. We will discuss the concept in more details in future posts here. But you can understand, that technically there is almost no difference – same protocols, different event sources, very different events cloud.

But we don’t use DR anymore. It’s dead. Demand Management is the new Energy world ideology.


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