Lightening the load: quantifying the potential for energy-efficient lighting to reduce peaks in electricity demand


Journal Article

© 2020, The Author(s). One of the key challenges to greater renewable electricity supplies is the temporal mismatch between non-dispatchable renewable sources and peaks in electricity demand. In addition, increased electrification coupled with the de-carbonisation of electricity generation is likely to increase the scale of demand peaks. This could force investment in carbon-intensive peaker generation or capital intensive storage capacity as well as additional transmission and distribution network capacity which may then be substantially underutilised. Whilst considerable effort has been devoted to testing a range of demand response interventions to reduce or shift consumption, less attention has been given to the ability of certain appliances to permanently reduce demand at peak through energy efficiency. In this paper, we use a published model of future energy-efficient lighting uptake together with multi-year measured lighting demand data from a sample of residential households to model the potential power (MW) and energy (MWh) reductions of a ‘business as usual’ rate of efficient lighting adoption. Our estimates suggest that whilst lighting comprises ~ 4% of overall New Zealand annual electricity consumption, it comprises up to 12% of evening peak electricity consumption in winter. As a result, we estimate that by 2029, more efficient residential lighting could reduce New Zealand’s total annual demand by 1 TWh and reduce the highest winter evening peaks (at 17:00) by at least 500 MW (9%). The winter evening demand reduction would be roughly equivalent to avoiding the need for additional generation capacity of the scale of New Zealand’s Huntly Power Stations 1–4 (coal/gas) plus the Stratford peaker plant (gas open-cycle) and has clear implications for any electricity system that is intending to transition towards ~ 100% renewable generation at least cost.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dortans, C; Jack, MW; Anderson, B; Stephenson, J

Published Date

  • August 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1105 - 1118

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1570-6478

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1570-646X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12053-020-09870-8

Citation Source

  • Scopus