Tempus Energy’s Sara Bell: DSR aggregators are ecstatic about Capacity Market ruling

Tempus Energy CEO Sara Bell

Tempus Energy chief executive, Sara Bell, says demand-side response aggregators are “ecstatic” about the European Court ruling on the Capacity Market, despite fears from some market participants that auction and payment suspensions will damage market confidence.

“There has been an enormously positive reaction. Every DSR provider who has called me today has been ecstatic,” she told The Energyst.

“This is a victory for consumers. The Capacity Market was crap. It didn’t offer an opportunity. Now we are going to have a much greater opportunity to help customers reduce their bills while reducing carbon intensity of the grid.”

Bell and Tempus pulled back from the UK market in 2016 after struggling to build a hybrid DSR and supply business targeting smaller assets and customers. The company has since struck flex agreements with Origin Energy in Australia – where its focus is on large customers.

Its technology “predicts the closing market price and the extent to which assets can be flexible and we put those two together to optimise load on a constant basis, taking them out of high price periods and into low price periods”, said Bell.

“We had to go to a proper market,” she said of the move.

UK return?

Should the ruling now force government to create a level playing field for demand-side response, Tempus will return to the UK market. Bell said it would consider partnerships.

That will not necessarily be an existing UK utility, but a company that “genuinely wants to build flexibility and deliver for customers. Everything we’ve done in Australia has been achieved by partnering with a large entity with a strong balance sheet. We want to take the same approach in the UK”.

The government should look on the ruling as an opportunity to create a better scheme that rewards flexibility, delivers economic benefits and contributes to climate goals, said Bell.

“People want cost effective energy, to breath clean air and to create a cleaner system for the future,” she said. “Flexibility delivers on all of those. Alongside government, we hope to put in place a scheme that actually delivers for customers.”

People “deserve better than this bullshit,” Bell summarised. “It is not okay to use our hard earned cash to subsidise the past.”

“This is about jobs and the smart economy. The Capacity Market in its original inception was such a wasted opportunity for economic development. We hope to contribute as much as possible to driving that economy.”

Related stories:

Tempus wins court case over Capacity Market bias against DSR

EMR delivery body confirms all capacity payments suspended, auctions shelved

Tempus Energy: A five year old can see the Capacity Market is anticompetitive, the billion won’t be paid

Decc “confident” of beating Tempus legal challenge

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