The role of end users in relation to system integration

From a consortium comprising CE Delft, Berenschot and Overview, the Energy Top Sector requested advice on the short- and medium-term actions that government, industry and research institutes should be focusing on the coming years in the context of R&D and utilization of demand flexibility. The results are set out in the present report, which is a springboard for a routemap for demand flexibility.

Flexible demand is one of the ways to maintain balance in tomorrow’s electricity supply, given increasing variability in supply due to greater use of renewables (wind and solar) and fewer power stations. While centralized generating capacity has traditionally been used to buffer fluctuations in demand, this will be more difficult in the future. Given the numerous technologies available for making energy demand more flexible, that role can now be taken over partly by ‘smart’ end users. In this report this has been systematically reviewed for industry, SME/utilities and households, including the latter’s role in charging electric vehicles. 

Besides technical potential in its various forms, the report also considers behavioural aspects, the role of the market and opportunities for Dutch industry. One conclusion of the study is that regulations need to be changed if full use is to be made of the flexibility options available to end users.

On 21 April, 2015, the key points of this ‘proto-routemap’ were elucidated at the Systems Integration congress held by the Energy Top Sector in Apeldoorn.