Energy blackouts and voluntary demand

 

Sir, – The contingency plans for electricity shortages as outlined in media [a hierarchy system which would see users coming off the grid depending on their position in the list] demonstrate a persistent failure by policymakers, regulatory authorities and system operators to properly cater for voluntary demand response within the energy market structures.

Effectively, the plans outlined are “load-shedding” – cutting off customers to avoid widespread blackouts on the power system. Properly incentivising customers to voluntarily reduce demand at times of grid stress, in a way that doesn’t harm their business, should avoid the need to enforce involuntary power cuts and help to alleviate tight capacity margin on the power system.

It is clear we need decisive policy and regulatory backing to allow demand customers to play their part in our energy system, preferably not as part of a blackout. – Yours, etc,

SIOBHÁN McHUGH,

Demand Response

Association of Ireland.