New Smart Energy Europe report into demand-side flexibility quantifies huge scale of potential in 2030 for consumers and the EU clean energy transition


EU consumers could save ฃแ71 bn in the year 2030, with similar savings in the years beyond, if demand-side flexibility was fully deployed, according to a new study by DNV published by smartEn กV Smart Energy Europe and sponsored by Eaton, Enel X, EDF and Voltalis.   

The study – called กฅDemand-side flexibility in the EU: Quantification of benefits in 2030กฆ – aims to fill an important gap as no comprehensive assessment of DSF potential in the EUhas ever been carried out up until now. It constitutes a powerful analysis of the scale of emissions reductions and cost savings that can be achieved if households and businesses on the demand side are enabled and encouraged to play a more active role in energy markets.  

Amongst other findings, the following results were found in a scenario that unleashes the full activation of flexibility from buildings, electric vehicles, and industry. In the year 2030:  

  • 37.5 million tonnes would be saved in annual GHG emissions 
  • ฃแ11.1 – ฃแ29.1 bn would be saved annually in distribution grid investments  
  • ฃแ71 bn would be saved annually by consumers directly 
  • 15.5 TWh (61%) would be the avoided renewable curtailment 
  • ฃแ2.7 bn would be saved annually in avoided peak generation capacity

In his opening remarks during the launch event, Michael Villa smartEn Executive Director stated: “We are very satisfied that, among the Emergency Market Design Interventions, a peak electricity demand reduction target was introduced to stimulate time-dependent, flexible consumption. As pointed out in the DNV study, the active role of consumers makes enormous sense both now, for this emergency situation, and in 2030, to help integrate renewable electricity and achieve our 55GHG reduction target in a cost-effective way.

Seydou Kane, Vice President, Public Affairs, Corporate, EMEA, Eaton, reiterated: This study shows how households and businesses on the demand side กV those who have traditionally simply paid for energy – can save money, make money, and reduce pressure on the grid if they are encouraged to invest in technologies that allow them to access the benefits of flexibility. 

Daniele Andreoli, Head of Demand Response, Enel X Global Retail, stressed: กงThe study represents a pivotal milestone for further development of demand-side flexibility solutions, as it clearly reveals and quantifies the crucial role of flexible consumption to reach the energy transition in a sustainable and cost-effective way. 

Carmen Munoz, Head of downstream activities, EDF R&D, said: กงDemand-side flexibility represents enormous opportunities for reduction of emission and crisis management. We shall be ambitious, cautious in promoting and unlocking the necessary investments only for those resources that can effectively achieve climate neutrality. 

The DNV study is a valuable source of information to support the forthcoming Fit for 55 negotiations to boost the deployment of more digital and decentralised energy resources and stimulate the full activation of demand-side flexibility to the benefit of consumers and the whole energy system. 

You can access the full report here.