Europe is adopting energy efficiency measures at unprecedented scale, and in parallel, its energy systems are being transformed by rapid adoption of renewables, the anticipated boom in electric vehicles, and a profusion of new technology offerings and ‘prosumer’ propositions. Energy efficiency has an important role in this energy system transition, but its impacts are rarely measured in a way that allows its contribution to be valued by market and network operators alongside dispatchable supply- and demand-side resources. Essentially, the way we deliver and value energy efficiency is disconnected from the way we plan and manage our energy system, which not only slows our combined effort to achieve decarbonisation goals but also puts consumers at risk of higher costs and lower standards. Technologies are now emerging that can allow the measurement and valuation of energy efficiency, securing its role in the wider energy market, contributing to flexibility and effectively becoming a reliable alternative to distributed generation and network reinforcement.
This Workshop provided an opportunity for participants to explore the following questions:
1. Can energy efficiency have a central role in Europe’s flexibility agenda? How can these benefits be comparatively valued alongside the supply and demand side resources that are necessary to enable Europe’s transition to a decarbonised energy system? For example:
- Can energy efficiency, when combined with demand response and electrification solutions, realistically be part of the least-cost pool of distributed resources for balancing grids?
- Can energy efficiency offer a compelling alternative to network reinforcement or new capacity?
2. Can demand flexibility open the door to achieving Europe’s energy efficiency ambitions, and what are the required steps to better align these policy goals? How can the energy policy and regulatory departments be better integrated and aligned? What is the role for market and networks operators, and how can we harness the DNO to DSO transition?
3. How will technology solutions and business models need to adapt and evolve for demand flexibility to enable a new route to market for energy efficiency services? For example:
- What if energy efficiency impacts were determined using standardised, automated protocols capable of producing reliable, real-time measurements?
- And what if these impacts could be valued as well as forecasted alongside other time- and location-specific resources?
- What sorts of new business models would this enable?
Links to presentations/others:
Opening remarks & scene setting, Kathleen Gaffney, IEA Energy Efficiency Division
Energy efficiency and flexibility – Market perspectives
Innovations in energy efficiency services delivery and commercial models
Vladimir Vukovic, Teesside University
Summary of related IEA work streams
World Energy Outlook, DSR in the World Energy Model, DSR in the World Energy Model