The advent of new elements in the electrical grid such as the Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), Electric Vehicles (EVs), and Grid Energy Storage (GES) poses challenges and opportunities for grid operators. DERs are clean alternatives for electricity generation, but their intermittent nature can create problems. EVs and GES are significant additional loads that could undermine the existing system capacity. This scenario is greatly magnified in the case of China being the world's largest electricity consumer with rapid growth expected in the coming years.
On the other hand, there is an inherent flexibility in the new and existing electrical loads waiting to be tapped as Demand Response (DR) resources to make the grid more efficient and resilient. The Grid Integration Group (GIG) of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is collaborating with the China Electric Power Research Institute (CEPRI) to explore DR opportunities and help China achieve their smart grid initiatives towards a more sustainable electricity generation, distribution, and consumption.
The project will evaluate the potential DR technologies to the Chinese electricity grid. In particular, the project will focus on the fast response capabilities of flexible loads and their possible application in grid frequency control and power balance. Models of the different flexible loads and their responds to different parameters (e.g. market price, weather) shall be developed and the DR potential of the aggregated loads shall be derived. Different recommendations in terms of policies, market mechanisms, and technologies to achieve several levels of DR penetration will be formulated. The LBNL team will leverage the experiences and lessons learned in several DR implementation projects done in the US while the CEPRI team will focus more on the practices, policies, and applications in the Chinese context.