21 November 2023

Elia Group’s study, ‘The Power of Flex’, explores how widespread consumer-side flexibility can deliver benefits for both consumers and the electricity system

Elia Group has published a new study on an alternative approach to consuming electricity that benefits both consumers and the electricity system. As the mobility and heating sectors increasingly rely on electricity, and industry electrifies its processes, consuming electricity when it is least expensive will start to become possible. For example, charging an electric car at night, when the wind is blowing, can be much cheaper than during more expensive evening peak hours. By aligning consumption patterns with (renewable) production patterns, the electricity grid is used more efficiently, resulting in a reduced need for investments in new capacity to handle moments of peak consumption. Elia Group has once again chosen to give this topic centre stage due to the numerous advantages consumer-side flexibility can deliver. 

In short

  • Increasing electrification in industry, mobility and heating carries important implications for the electricity system. Charging all of these millions of electric devices at the same time would put the stability of our electricity grid at risk and would be highly inefficient. 
  • To avoid such an inefficient management of the system, unlocking consumer-side flexibility is essential. Residential and industrial customers who own electrical devices will be able to avoid expensive price peaks by consuming energy at times when green electricity is more abundant. This approach will level out consumption peaks and help to handle fluctuations in the supply of renewable energy.
  • In our latest study, Elia Group identifies three main actions to unlock consumer-side flexibility: (1) providing consumers with access to financial incentives; (2) enabling seamless data access for energy service providers; and (3) introducing flex-ready devices.

Marleen Vanhecke
Head of Communication & Reputation Elia Group
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