An increasing number of companies with high energy requirements are taking their energy and load management into their own hands and are contributing to a stabilisation of the energy supply system. The Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster examined the role of the industry as a co-shaper of the energy system transformation in Northern Germany within the framework of a study called “Flexindustrie – Potenziale der Industrie Norddeutschlands” and presented key results at a workshop held as part of the major project “Norddeutsche EnergieWende 4.0”.
“As a pioneer in the energy system transformation process, Northern Germany offers ideal conditions for implementing the next stage of the energy system transformation process and for testing new solutions. The study makes recommendations to all interested companies in the region to identify their potential for flexible energy purchases and to take first steps towards load flexibilisation under the current regulatory framework,” says Jan Rispens, who is the Managing Director of the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster.
The study “Flexindustrie – Potenziale der Industrie Norddeutschlands” was written by Averdung Ingenieursgesellschaft mbH and Navigant Energy Germany GmbH, and was commissioned by the Renewable Energy Hamburg Cluster. The study examines flexibilisation options of large industrial-scale energy consumers in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and some districts in Lower Saxony along the Lower Elbe. The focus was on the following questions: How knowledgeable are companies about the flexibility potential of their own energy demand? Do companies in the region currently see themselves in a position to tap this potential? Which framework conditions and political challenges do you face?
The study thus establishes a comparison between a company’s current view of operational load management and existing technologies, as well as experiences from other studies and research projects. The survey revealed that the largest energy consumers in the region already had very extensive knowledge, as well as their own flexibility projects. The next group of large consumers had very different potentials for load flexibilisation. “Many of these companies are only vaguely aware of their options for action. The reason for this is also the current economic and regulatory framework, under which a large part of the technical possibilities are still not economically viable,” according to the authors of the study.
In addition to a detailed inventory of the electricity market, the available electricity storage facilities and the current sector coupling technologies, the study also outlines possibilities for flexible production processes. The analysis outlines scenarios and possible business cases for flexibility demand in the region and derives recommendations for action for industry and politics.
Despite grid expansion and the simultaneous expansion of renewable generation facilities, the study assumes that significant and long-term grid bottlenecks will continue to loom large. This means that there is also a greater long-term potential for the use of surplus electricity, and therefore a need to make the demand for industrial loads more flexible.
The study can be downloaded free of charge at: https://www.erneuerbare-energien-hamburg.de/de/service/downloads.html?category=Studien&tag=&orderby=date%5Bdesc%5D&search=