Sylvie Feindt is Director of environment policy at DigitalEurope, the trade association representing the information and communications technology industry in Europe.
"In order to realise ambitious energy efficiency goals, DigitalEurope believes our energy landscape needs to evolve from a largely centralised production system to a much more decentralised, consumer-interactive and intelligent one.
There are various - often complementary - solutions to achieve this goal but, a key element is demand response. Sustainable ICT solutions are key to enabling this new smart energy consumption model. Those solutions are available on the market today and are ready to de deployed.
Demand response manages end-user consumption of energy in response to supply, having energy users reduce their consumption at critical times or in response to an energy peak demand. Intelligent technologies are being developed and promoted by a number of companies in Europe to make energy reductions available in the context of Demand Response programs.
These technological advancements allow making 'intelligent' decisions for industrial sites or buildings using demand response technology, carefully 'curtailing', in progressive stages, the energy usage for each facility or building. By acting in this intelligent manner, generation, is minimally affected until the energy squeeze crisis passes. If those technologies are associated with intelligent and distributed management systems, they would also enable end-users to monitor, control and supervise their energy consumption.
According to a study by Capgemini, VaasaETT and Enerdata (Demand Response: a decisive breakthrough for Europe, Capgemini, VaasaETT and Enerdata, June 2008), demand response alone could achieve 25-50% of the EU’s 2020 targets concerning energy savings and CO2 emission reductions.
Demand response also offers large business potential to European companies; the size of the demand response market is about $5 billion in the U.S. However, in many countries demand response is not enabled such as Italy, Spain, Greece or Poland. In most of the 27 EU countries, it is simply very difficult due to various obstacles including the lack of appropriate base load measurement requirements in the UK and Germany or a clear payment and contract structures for demand reductions in most European markets. In addition, the development of demand response needs to be organised in Europe in order to offer a real potential in terms of energy-savings.
The Directive on Energy Efficiency can overcome barriers to the development of demand response across Europe and ensure its role in the context of the 2020 energy savings goal. Consequently, we need European-wide market design improvements and measures to encourage technologies and systems enabling demand response programmes.
We call policy-makers to remove the barriers to the development of demand-response in Europe."