Demand Response: Challenges and Opportunities in the Context of Energy Transitions

Demand Response: Challenges and Opportunities in the Context of Energy Transitions

On 10 – 11 September 2015, IRGC and the Energy Center of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) jointly organised an international public conference and expert workshop on the challenges and opportunities for demand response in the context of energy transitions.

Energy transitions towards decarbonised energy systems with increasing share of intermittent renewable energy call for a paradigm shift in the power sector, in particular that demand profiles increasingly follow electricity generation rather than the other way round. This form of power system flexibility can be achieved through demand response, which involves temporary changes in electricity consumption typically in response to price signals or other financial incentives, or in reaction to grid conditions.

While demand response has gained traction among diverse stakeholders in the electricity industry in some countries, widespread uptake of demand response measures remains slow due to uncertainties, whether economic, technological, social or regulatory. It is not certain, for instance, to what extent demand response is a viable alternative to investment in conventional peak capacity or grid reinforcement, or whether affordable storage would develop so fast as to make demand response quickly obsolete.

Featuring speakers from industry, the public sector as well as academia, the conference and workshop sought to provide a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary overview of the opportunities and risks associated with demand response:

  • The actual and potential contribution of different types of demand response to power system flexibility, security of supply, and to facilitating energy transitions
  • Key enablers and barriers for achieving demand response potential, including regulatory  and market developments, technological and business innovations, and consumer behaviour
  • International practices for measurement and verification, and demand response integration in market and network operations.



Conference Session 1: The need for demand response in the context of energy transitions and governance considerations
Session chair: Prof. Ortwin Renn, Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS

Conference Session 2: Practical solutions for implementing demand response: Multi-stakeholder perspectives
Session chair: Prof. Daniel Favrat, EPFL Energy Center

Workshop Session 1: Assessment of demand response potential, and willingness and ability to participate
Session chairs: Marie-Valentine Florin, IRGC and François Vuille, EPFL Energy Center

Workshop Session 2: Identification of effective business models to capture the value of demand response
Session chair: Dr. Lorenzo Massa, EPFL College of Management of Technology

Workshop Session 3: Adaptation of electricity market design and regulation to foster demand response
Session chair: Dr. Arthur Janssen, Swissgrid AG



Should you have any questions or require additional information, please contact:

Dr. François Vuille, EPFL Energy Center, f.vuille@epfl .ch, +41 21 693 24 73

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