What a fantastic innovative idea. This is a great example of a local community taking control of their future energy consumption. Grid constraints are a huge issue in many areas, particularly in Cornwall. DNO upgrade costs and the timescales to implement them mean plenty of projects just cannot get off the ground. With the commitment of a community to shift their energy consumption to the day time, in line with solar generation, it means less energy will be exported to the wider grid and will enable more projects to be realised, supplying renewable power locally where it needed.
With this new radical tariff, through matching demand and generation locally, the network can be utilised more efficiently and potentially allow the connection of more generation. While the customer benefits from cost savings from the Sunshine Tariff, the energy supplier also benefits from a capacity perspective. While this particular project is restricted to Wadebridge, the benefits and what is learned can most certainly be applied throughout the UK. Rob Shaw, of London-based LDA Consultancy suggests that a viable future solar energy business model needs to bypass the energy generation and grid capacity model it is currently based on and that to survive without subsidies, solar needs to think creatively, encompassing solutions such as energy demand management, energy storage, microgrids, community energy, direct energy sales and collaboration with the commercial and residential property sector.