Further support required for full demand side response benefits
Changing attitudes to demand side response (DSR) uncovered in recent research show an optimistic outlook to energy use in the sector, yet more support is required to make full use of the service.
According to Aggreko’s latest report, The Power Struggle – Manufacturing, which surveyed 251 large UK manufacturers, over 70% had or were using DSR – the short-term lowering of electricity demand in exchange for lower tariffs – in their facility. This is a marked increase on the temporary utilities provider’s 2019 research into the sector, which found 57% of businesses saying the same.
“It is a critical time for UK manufacturing, which continues to feel pressure on production due to increasing utility bills,” explains Matt Watson, Manufacturing Sector Expert for Aggreko Northern Europe. “As such, though these new findings are welcome news, it is undoubtedly unsurprising when considering that over 70% of those surveyed also said rising energy costs were directly hampering their ability to remain competitive.
“Faced with such a scenario, it is heartening to see industry look into all the tools at their disposal to mitigate the impact of these price hikes. However, with the situation remaining as severe as it is, the sector cannot rest on its laurels, especially if it is to best brace against any further, unforeseen impacts.”
These sentiments can be further detailed in Aggreko’s new report, which identified lack of awareness as the main barrier behind the 23% who stated they had not used DSR. Additionally, ‘lack of technical resource’ was identified as a key reason behind not implementing such services, demonstrating that while appetite has grown for DSR, businesses may still possess insufficient technical knowledge to best implemented it.
“The growth of DSR as a key strategic resource for manufacturers demonstrates how effective a tool it is,” concludes Matt. “Yet in order to make full use of its potential, we must address all obstacles to implementation, including the apprehension or unfamiliarity identified in this report. As such, it is vital manufacturers under pressure due to growing energy costs engage with third-party expertise and services if they are to best navigate spiralling circumstances surrounding grid provision.
“Decentralised energy equipment will be key to this, implemented and scaled up or down within flexible models that allow close management of power supply and costs, without being tied into fixed energy rates. By working closely with specialists to ensure as efficient a solution as possible, manufacturers can take full advantage of the benefits DSR services have to offer.”