Almost 60 percent of the Dutch energy consumption is used by industry. In particular the chemical industry is a large energy consumer. Industry therefore plays a very important role in the energy transition. Put another way: without an active participation of industry it is impossible to meet Dutch, European and global energy en climate objectives.
Flexibilisation of energy demand, also called “demand response” is an important theme for the industry besides energy efficiency and the electrification of industry. Not only can industry contribute to making the energy transition a reality by accomodating the integration of variable renewable energy sources, it is also financially attractive to do so as it will allow end consumers to save on their energy costs!
How does it work? The increased share of variable renewable energy sources like solar PV and wind energy in North-West Europe has resulted in increased volatility of the electricity prices in particular. On the day-ahead market, electricity prices vary hour-by-hour. This has always been the case in liberalised energy markets, mainly driven by changes in energy demand, but due to the increased share of variable renewable energy this volatility has increased significantly. In the first quarter of 2017 the difference between the cheapest hour of the day and the most expensive hour of the day was as high as €35/MWh on the Dutch spot market! The average electricity price was €42/MWh. It happens quite often that the most expensive hour of the day is twice as expensive as the cheapest hour of the day. In the imbalance market the volatility in even greater. This increased volatility offers opportunities as well as risks to the energy-intensive industry. By taking this into account and optimising your production process, these opportunities are maximised and the risks mitigated.
It is therefore increasingly important that a company knows what flexibility options it has in the production process (both the primary process as also the ancillary processes such as utilities) and how it can optimally utilise this flexibility. By shifting power consumption from more expensive hours to cheaper hours, a saving of 10 to 15% on the energy bill can be realised. And by doing so, you will indirectly facilitate that in periods of high renewable energy production the available energy can be consumed without society having to invest in more expensive options or renewable energy having to be curtailed. A responsive industry acts as a giant battery. As a result, the energy transition is accelerated.
Recoy co-operates intensively with N-SIDE, a Belgium-based firm with an international reach and a strong background in mathematics and optimisation. N-SIDE has extensive knowledge and experience in optimising energy flexibilities across many industries, and have developed the tools to do this through ENERTOP. Together we are keen to help you increase your energy flexibility, maximise opportunities and mitigate risks!