Five key questions about energy after Covid-19

Consumers who had signed up to flexible, real time tariffs with one UK energy supplier found themselves encouraged to use electricity when it went negative. “You’re doing a service to the National Grid,” says Greg Jackson from Octopus Energy, the company who encouraged their customers to use more during negative pricing episodes. The transition to a greener future means that grids will face huge influxes of power from intermittent suppliers, while demand will probably fall. “This is a clear signal that the era of big, centralised ‘base-load’ generation is over, and that the future will be powered by renewables, energy storage and flexible power plants,” said Björn Ullbro, from Wärtsilä Energy Business, a power sector company. “But faced with this, and the challenges of staff getting ill and having to go off into isolation, just keeping the lights on and keeping the electricity system operating through this is a minor miracle in itself.”
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