We’re constantly looking at future energy trends, and how they might impact our network.
We have identified that electric vehicles, distributed generation and battery storage are three emerging technologies that could change the way customers interact with our network, so we’re researching what those impacts might be, and how we can manage our network to harness any benefits and minimise any challenges these technologies may present.
While historically solar panels have been too expensive for the average homeowner, evolving technology and the economies of scale achieved through increasing demand mean that solar generation and distributed generation are becoming a more affordable and economic source of electricity.
There are a number of benefits to renewable generation like solar panels, including:
- it’s a renewable form of electricity,
- it’s low maintenance,
- it requires minimal attention by the homeowner,
- reduces traditional monthly electricity costs, and
- typically, it adds value to a residential property.
There are however a few drawbacks with solar (nothing’s perfect!). Solar panels only produce electricity when the sun is shining, so:
- They produce no output at night, and
- If it’s a wet or cloudy day, less electricity is produced making the supply less reliable.
However, by introducing battery energy storage into the package, together with grid-supply from your electricity retailer, these drawbacks can be minimised. Energy produced by the panels during the day can be stored for use later, allowing solar power to be used at night. This also has the effect of reducing the peak load for Unison as the electricity distributor during high demand times, such as breakfast and dinner times when everyone is drawing electricity for cooking, showering etc.
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