DRPs Program and Electrical System
Most energy markets in the world, particularly in Europe, have a transmission infrastructure and aged distribution, rising costs of generation targets “des carbonization” and a growing demand for energy, all of which is contributing to a “perfect storm” for energy policies that with DRPs and new programs.
The ability of governments to prevent failure of the electrical system is under close surveillance, and several countries have provided a significant decrease in generation margins (the margin between generation capacity and peak demand) in the coming years as They are struggling to balance demand with environmental objectives and integration of new sources of supply.
An inevitable consequence for data center operators will be a greater degree of monitoring and pressure, because governments will explore all options to be offered to prevent brownouts and blackouts. It has not been easy for data center operators.
Based on the findings of Eurostat in 2012, operators of data centers have absorbed an increase in electricity costs of between 40% and 60% in the last ten years, to the point that energy costs are now a main element of their operating budgets. Controlling technological innovation and implement new business models will be critical steps for success in the future.
MANAGING THE “PICO”
The concept of DRP programs is to encourage large energy consumers to moderate demand in times of restricted or limited supply, to ensure stability and security of supply.
By their nature, delivering power to homes and businesses involves optimally manage supply and demand. The biggest challenge utilities providers is to build a generation capacity to meet peak demand.
It is, in short, a very inefficient use of resources. Most networks operate at maximum 10% of the peak curve only 1% or 3% of the time, so they have a substantial amount of underused generation capacity in reserve.
It is easy then to understand why any opportunity to help smooth the peaks could be attractive to governments and operators and regulators on the network, but can also be attractive to consumers? The data center industry should now consider the opportunities this presents, not only in terms of income and stability, but also in support of the objectives of corporate social responsibility.
The DRPs can not only eliminate the need to build infrastructure or new generation response at peak times. They can also create attractive entry points for “renewable energy microgrid” and may potentially offer a competitive countries competing for investment having a safe and stable supply advantage. However, despite some clear environmental, economic and political benefits, the adoption of DRPs across Europe has been slow.
WHAT NEXT IN DRP?
The DRPs are about to become a strategic lever to balance the network. If network operators can smooth the peaks, can reduce the need for new generation capacity and may focus its investments in renewable energy to work in a context of intelligent or smart-grid network. That being the case, it is clear how industries data centers can participate and share the profit.
Now that data centers are becoming a major element of the load, it is vital that we are sufficient technical and regulatory incentives to facilitate participation. An alternative scenario could focus on the use of regulatory instruments governments to force or coerce non-critical loads go offline during periods of emergency supply. There is no evidence of this happening today, but the agency responsible for this in the UK (called OFGEM) has warned that margins between supply and demand are becoming dangerously close.
It has become clear that steps must be taken to control somehow spikes network demand. It is preferable to do this in a controlled and economically attractive way to have incentives, rather than by applying a regulatory instrument.
A solution that provides income and savings for data centers helps alleviate challenges regulators to try to meet the generation gap face, and meets the general public in the form of lower costs and a more secure supply and sustainable within reach. We will keep the dialogue so that all parties can reach an agreement on how to do this work.