Patrick Liddy



The Future Flexible Electricity System


If you had the option to power your business with very large volumes of clean, cheap renewably generated power in the future, though it is provided in an inflexible way, could it be facilitated?

This submission asks the question how far can we go on facilitating in-flexible renewables using flexibility on the demand side?

The OLD Way

  • Traditional Fossil Fuel powered generators provide reliable, always available, but dirty and expensive power to customers who don’t think about the source of the power or respond to the variability or availability of the generators.


  • Up to 55% of Ireland power comes from Renewables
  • EnerNOC and other DSUs contract with 400MW of customers in Ireland to provide flexibility to the Grid at times when providing more power to the system is excessively costly or impractical. This may happen at peak demand times, when the system is ramping up or down, or when the availability of some other sources has not been forecast correctly. Also some customer are available to increase demand if there is an abundance of wind on the system by switching off their CHPs, and so reduce wind curtailment.
  • Electricity costs are suppressed by the cheap renewables and customers earn by providing flexibility services to the Grid


  • Energy will be cheap at times of high wind/solar availability.
  • Energy will be extremely expensive at other times.
  • Fixed and wires charges will make up the largest proportion of energy users bills to help finance balancing resources.
  • Customers will have the opportunity to greatly reduce their bills by responding to these signals. They may do this by identifying small ways in which their plant could participate in the following:
    • System services participation (DSU, rapid frequency response, UPSs, Back Up Generation)
    • Electricity storage (batteries)
    • Product storage (intermediate product storage, ice-banks)
    • Moving production times (energy price prediction, automation)

If you had the option to power your business with very large volumes of clean, cheap renewably generated power into the future, though it is provided in an inflexible way, could it be facilitated?

About Patrick Liddy:

Patrick Liddy is a qualified Electrical Engineer BEng, CEM, MIEI. Patrick’s resume also includes Technical Advisor and Program Manager roles at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) in addition to numerous energy consultancy engagements with a diverse multinational and indigenous client base.

In 2011 Patrick founded Activation Energy DSU Ltd, Ireland’s first Demand Side Unit (DSU), a business that combines modern software with the electricity industry. The software and associated services developed by the company provide significant savings to large energy users in Ireland by allowing them to directly participate in the wholesale electricity market (SEM) and quickly acquired a significant presence in the Irish market. This position lead to strong interest from an American Nasdaq listed leader in the sector (EnerNOC) which acquired the company in early 2014.

Patrick and Activation Energy are generally regarded as leaders in innovation and change in the Irish electricity sector, as well as being the largest operator of DSU in Ireland by a long distance. Patrick sits on the majority of stakeholder forums and boards in relation to the operation of the electricity system in Ireland.

Following the acquisition Activation Energy by EnerNOC, Patrick took on the role of Director for Regulatory Affairs and Operations in Ireland. He was quickly promoted to Director for UK and Ireland where he also has responsibility for EnerNOC’s British Demand Response business.

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