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Traditional load management versus real time load control

Summary

The rapid development within information technology enables a more dynamic and flexible operation of energy systems. Therefore the question has arisen of how the energy system in it’s entirety would be affected by instant price variations and load management.

In order to examine the effects from real time load control and real time electricity pricing versus traditional load control and tariffs, computer simulations have been performed of load management measures in the energy system of Ronneby, Sweden. The analyses are made outgoing from two synthetic load curves and coincident prices based on actual demand and spot market electricity prices in December and May 1997. In the performance the energy system optimisation model MODEST has been applied on the energy system. The extent of potential end-use measures are estimated by the local distribution utility Ronneby Energy AB.

It is among others shown that power related charges constitute the determinant factor for how and when load control shall be activated. The reduced energy system cost due to load management is therefore larger with the old electricity price structure than with real time energy pricing from the power exchange market.

During the part of the year when the power related charges are not valid customer driven load control against real time spot prices might generate unexpected distributor load profiles. Bottle necks in the distribution grid that can be avoided the part of the year when the management is distributor driven, might therefore cause new problems in new time periods.

If real time pricing was introduced to customers with controllable equipment, these customers would utilise their load priority systems the whole year round and not only during the cold season. The benefits from real time pricing corresponding to real time load management is totally dependent of the variation of price and not on seasonal movements or the electricity price level.

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