Want to make renewable energy more viable?

BWCE are working with Avalon Community Energy (ACE) on an EU Funded project called ReDREAM. The project is an innovative trial looking at ways to make the most efficient use of renewable energy to meet household electricity demand.

The UK element of the trial is called Flex Community. This is because we are exploring how ‘flexible’ households can be around the times they use electricity so we can work out how best to match household demand to renewable supply.

Helping match demand to availability

 

We all know that green energy is the way of the future. 40% of the UK’s energy came from renewables in 2020 which is expected to keep increasing.

But, there is a challenge facing the industry. Renewable sources can’t be turned up and down as needed, so we currently rely on fossil fuels to make up any shortfall.

Reducing the energy rush hour

 

Just like with traffic, the electricity grid has its own rush hour. The demand peaks at around 6pm as people get back home from work, which unfortunately doesn’t always match when renewables, particularly solar, are at their strongest.

Any shortfall in green energy during this time is met by turning up energy from gas or coal power plants.

So if someone drives home in their electric vehicle (EV) and plugs it in to charge at 6pm, the odds are it’s adding to the need for fossil fuels.

How to match supply and demand


Having enough electricity when we need it is a key issue, one solution is to match household demand to when there is more renewable electricity being supplied to the grid. This is a simple, low-cost approach that will avoid costly grid upgrades which have high environmental impacts.

Who we are looking for

 

We are looking for people willing to trial the use of no cost smart technology to demonstrate how we can better match household electricity demand with renewable electricity supply. In order to do this, we need to connect the smart technology with energy technologies such as electric space and water heating and electric vehicle charging.

You can join using energy technologies you already have or those you are planning to obtain (which you can also install through Flex Community).

Through an ongoing development process, we are devising ways to connect smart technology (developed by Stemy Energy) to different products. The box below lists the products we can currently connect to. This will be updated as we find new connectivity solutions

  • If you already own or are planning to install any of the products below, we would love to hear from you

If you already own or are planning to install other makes of ev charger or heat pump, you are welcome to complete an Expression of Interest. We will keep your details on record and contact you when we have found a way to connect to these products.

We can currently connect to:

 

The following smart Electric Vehicle charge posts - Alfen, Swarco and Wallbox

Immersion heaters which you use as the primary source of household water heating.

 

The addition of no-cost smart tech will enable electricity demand from these energy devices to better match when renewable energy is available on the grid.

You will still be able to use these devices as normal. Your car will be charged and your water will be heated. There will just be subtle changes in when they are using electricity.

Where we are operating

 

Through an initial programme funded by Next Generation we have recruited participants in Bath & North East Somerset and some adjoining communities. Our focus has now shifted to householders living in parts of Somerset encompassing Wells, Shepton Mallet, Wedmore, Glastonbury, Street and surrounding areas.

If you are interested in the project but are not sure whether you fit into our project catchment area, please complete the form below with your postcode and we will confirm.

 

Want to get involved?

If you want to play a part in enabling a renewable electricity grid please get in touch, and tell others for whom this project may be relevant.

For more information please check out the resources below

 

Energy Demand ChallengeFrequently Asked Questions