Page 28 - European Energy Innovation - autumn 2017 publication
P. 28

28  Autumn 2017 European Energy Innovation


A future driven by standards

By Thomas Willson, Policy Officer at ECOS (pictured)

The European transport                     and energy goals. A modal shift from       demand and storing energy in electric
            sector is on the cusp of a     internal combustion engines to electric    vehicles. In addition, demand-side
            revolution. Emissions from     vehicles would reduce oil imports and      flexibility can displace carbon-
            transport in Europe have       carbon emissions, while improving          intensive ‘peak’ power generation and
stubbornly refused to conform to           energy efficiency, local air quality and   avoid the construction of additional
emission reduction trends seen             noise pollution. These environmental       network capacity to cope with demand
in other sectors, accounting for a         benefits are not without an economic       to reduce overall system costs.
quarter of all emissions and much          dimension, with large numbers of
of the air pollution in cities, yet signs  additional new jobs expected to be         EU legislative proposals are poised
are emerging of an approaching             created over the next few decades          to take this a step closer. The
inflexion point. In the past few months,   alongside a shift towards domestically     implementation of the Alternative
both government and industry               produced goods and services. Electric      Fuels Infrastructure Directive and
have presented a series of strong          vehicles also offer the potential to       the Clean Energy for all Europeans
signals that the end of the internal       support the rapid changes underway         Package will drive progress towards
combustion engine is approaching.          in the power sector.                       establishing recharging infrastructure
France will ban the sale of all petrol                                                and the integration of electric
and diesel vehicles by 2040, and           In recent years, power generation has      vehicles in European power systems.
vehicle manufacturers have unveiled        become progressively cleaner, more         These proposals could support a
production line after production           distributed and renewable. Wind
line that centres on one technology:       power and solar photovoltaics have
electromobility.                           formed the greatest part of this trend
                                           and will continue to dominate in the
Electromobility offers an unequalled       future. As these sources increase in
solution to address European climate       market share, so too will the variability
                                           of the supply-side of the power
                                           system. In parallel, power systems
                                           have become increasingly digitalised
                                           and interconnected with other
                                           sectors, such as the transport sector.
                                           This interconnection has been made
                                           possible by advances in information
                                           and communication technology
                                           and data, which have opened new
                                           possibilities in the active management
                                           of power systems to strengthen the
                                           ability of the demand-side to react to
                                           variability of supply.

                                           Demand-side flexibility is expected
                                           to provide substantial benefits to
                                           European power systems. As a
                                           resource, demand-side flexibility can
                                           improve environmental performance,
                                           cost-effectiveness and reliability of
                                           networks. Demand-side flexibility
                                           can enable larger shares of variable
                                           renewable energy sources to be
                                           integrated in the generational mix; for
                                           instance, by managing periods of solar
                                           photovoltaic over-supply by increasing

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