11 December 2014
"Upside Energy — Opening up demand response to everyone"
Meeting Room 10, 2nd Floor, JLB
12:30pm - 13:45pm
Graham Oakes -
The UK's electricity grid is under stress. At peak times, it runs very close to full capacity — creating risks of blackouts, increasing the cost of electricity, and driving up our use of dirty, carbon-emitting energy generation.
National Grid is addressing the problem by paying large energy users to reduce demand during peak periods. But why should only large businesses benefit from this market? Upside aims to open the market up to everyone. We plan to pay households and small businesses to reduce their energy use at peak times.
We'll do this by operating a cloud service that coordinates the charging cycles of batteries attached to uninterruptible power supplies, solar PV arrays, electric vehicles, etc. This will create a "virtual energy store" that can be used to provide balancing services to National Grid, distribution network operators and energy suppliers. We'll then redistribute the bulk of our revenue from these services back to the battery owners.
Upside was created for the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge, where it won entry into the EU's Climate-KIC acceleration programme. It is also leading a consortium (including Sharp Labs of Europe, Siemens, Tempus Energy and the University of Manchester) that was won £470k of funding from InnovateUK to build a pilot of the service. Once the pilot is built, we plan to open it up for open innovation, enabling researchers and other interested parties to develop and test new algorithms for grid state prediction and demand response portfolio management.
Dr Graham Oakes has over 30 years' experience as a systems engineer and project manager. He has held senior roles with Sony, Compaq and Sapient, and consulted to firms ranging from Cisco, Intel and Skype to Greenpeace, Oxfam and Amnesty International. He created Upside for the Nesta Dynamic Demand Challenge in 2013.
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