Making Web-Based Energy Management Efforts Click

Demand-side energy management has moved into the 21st century with new Internet-centered efforts to adjust energy use based on real-time pricing information. The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., is a leading researcher of "demand response," which also has become the focus of a global initiative through the International Energy Agency's (IEA) ...

09/01/2004


Demand-side energy management has moved into the 21st century with new Internet-centered efforts to adjust energy use based on real-time pricing information. The U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., is a leading researcher of "demand response," which also has become the focus of a global initiative through the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Demand Side Management Program.

LBNL researchers conducted the first successful test of an automated demand-response program in February, using streaming XML-based data to manage energy use at five commercial, industrial and institutional facilities across California. Data consisted of artificial electricity prices, which were set to trigger building-system responses at specified points.

When the artificial prices reached 30 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), buildings began to automatically lower lighting, cooling and other systems—all without operator intervention. Additional cutbacks were initiated when prices reached 75 cents per kWh.

By testing the potential of more dynamic energy pricing, such research will be the focus of the new Demand Response Research Center at LBNL. The center is being funded by the California Energy Commission and will investigate market hurdles to demand response strategies.

U.S. officials are also getting behind the demand-response effort through a newly formed public/private group called the Demand Response Coordinating Committee. Participants include DOE, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and representatives from a number of utility generation and transmission companies. The group will, in turn, report its results to IEA's Demand Response Project, a 10-nation effort to boost demand response as an energy-management tool.





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