Electrical Goods to Be Turned Off To Reduce Pressure on Power Stations
By Leigh Teixeira
A new proposal by the European Union could have all new household appliances fitted with sensors which would automatically switch them off without the consent of their owners should the strain on power stations become a bit too much.
This has been proposed by the National Grid and is backed by more than 30 of its European counterparts.
The reason they are pushing this proposal is that renewable sources of energy like solar and wind power aren’t as stable as a power station and thus the chance of a blackout occurring is higher.
The proposition has been outlined and documentation has been put together by the European Network Transmission System Operators for Electricity and has been agreed to by energy regulators within the Union.
The propositions were sent through to the European Commission in late March. The Commission will be giving their judgement on the proposition within the next 3 months.
Should they approve it would then go onto the European Parliament and be passed as a law that would obligate manufactures of appliances to install the sensors. Within as few as 3 years one could be purchasing large items with the sensors.
Many critics are against the proposal and say that it is only energy suppliers that would benefit from this as they would not need to turn on the reserve generators or offer incentives to factories to turn off their furnaces to be able to meet demand. There is no hint of consumers being offered any form of compensation for inconveniences caused by having their appliances turned off.
The sensors will have the capability to detect when there is an increase in electricity usage that the grip isn’t able to meet and in response will turn off appliances. These sensors will up the average price of appliances by £40.
A former leadership candidate for the Tories, David Davis, has said that there is an element of “big brother” to this and in way energy suppliers will be passing on their ineptitude to consumers. Suppliers should be supplying their customers when they need it and not when the supplier deems it okay. He hopes the government fully opposes this measure.
Electrolux’s energy strategy manager, Viktor Sundberg feels that this is an extreme level of big brother technology. The sensor will change the way that the actual appliance functions, if at all, based on the usage on the Grid. Mr Sundberg says that by allowing energy companies to do this they will be saving millions of pounds as they won’t need to turn on their backup generators or pay large manufacturing firms to cut down on their production for a while. Consumers will not benefit from these sensors at all. Not only will the sensors increase the price of the item, it will also be controlled by sources outside the home.
The National Grid is privately owned company that made well over £2.5 billion in profits in 2011. By law they are obligated to balance the demand and supply of energy within the network. They supply alternating current to households that are 240V and of a frequency of 50 hertz but, as it isn’t possible to store electricity in bulk this will fluctuate. When demand for electricity rises, the frequency will drop and of cause when more power is available, the frequency rises.
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