Integrated methodology to assess the energy flexibility potential in the process industry

Over the last decades, the energy mix has included increasingly more renewable energy, whose sources offer many long-term advantages. However, these energy sources are highly volatile. Wind or solar energy can produce a lot of energy, but they are not temporal neither geographical constant. A high degree of energy flexibility is therefore needed in industry so that it can benefit from energy price fluctuations.

The scientific paper “Integrated methodology to assess the energy flexibility potential in the process industry” presents an effective strategy to boost energy flexibility in a process industry environment through the definition of univocal parameters to assess energy flows, to identify the hotspots and to estimate the flexibility potential of a plant.
This preliminary study uses a paper production plant in Germany as a model, proposing an integrated methodology to support investment decisions. The four-step approach developed by the researchers allows the implementation potential energy flexibility measures to be evaluated at different system levels with regard to issues specific to the processing industry and paper sector. The potential application of the selected measures can be predicted through the characterization of energy flows.
Further studies are needed to assess the technical flexibility potential of this industry. Nonetheless this paper can be used as a basis for future research and for the development of an energy flexibility simulation model.


In the last decade, renewable energy supply has gained increasing interest, as it can contribute to the diversification of the energy mix. Energy flexibility offers consumers the opportunity to benefit from fluctuating energy prices, connected to the volatility of wind and solar power. This paper aims at mapping flexibility strategies and their requirements in the process industry environment. The conception of flexibility measures requires a characterization of energy flows, in order to identify hotspots and estimate the flexibility potential. An integrated methodology has been developed with the purpose of supporting investment decisions for a case-study in the paper production sector in Germany.

The full paper is available here.


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