The evolution of demand response (DR) from traditional air conditioning cycling programs toward more sophisticated initiatives for renewables integration and demand management is one of the most dynamic aspects of the energy sector transition now underway in the United States. Examples abound -- from smart thermostat programs in Oklahoma to managed electric vehicle charging in California.
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has captured the breadth and scope of change in DR programs and policies across the country in its new report, the 2017 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot, written in partnership with Navigant Research. Joining SEPA’s 2017 Utility Solar and Energy StorageMarket Snapshots, the report analyzes 2016 annual data on demand response programs, submitted by more than 100 utilities. It also provides updates on DR participation in wholesale markets, and outlines key and emerging market trends.
“Utilities often define and measure demand response differently, which made aggregating the data we received for this first Demand Response Market Snapshot particularly challenging,” said Brenda Chew, SEPA Research Analyst, who led the survey and co-authored the report. “Demand response -- broadly defined as change in customers’ normal consumption patterns, triggered by price or market signals -- isn’t only about load shedding or shifting anymore. It’s being used to help manage the real-time impacts of the increasingly large amounts of renewable energy on the grid.”
Other report takeaways:
“DR was traditionally used for emergency purposes -- to turn customer’s electric appliances on and off,” said Brett Feldman, Principal Research Analyst with Navigant Research. “But technology has progressed, customers expect more choice and control, and DR programs have become more precise and customer-friendly, all of which benefits utility grid operators and end-use customers. This focus on customer-grid solutions – and the cross-industry partnerships we see in many DR programs -- will make demand response a particularly strong and flexible vehicle for ongoing DER integration and innovation.”
The 2017 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot is available for download here.
The Smart Electric Power Alliance | http://www.sepapower.org