Energy flexibility, a critical aspect of the ongoing energy transition, is indispensable for industries. It empowers them to adapt their energy consumption and production patterns, aligning with the ever-changing dynamics of energy supply, demand, and market conditions. This adaptability is especially crucial in the industrial sector, where energy is a cornerstone of numerous processes, manufacturing, and day-to-day operations.
In the traditional energy paradigm, industries have long depended on a consistent and steady supply of energy, typically sourced from conventional means. However, the energy landscape is undergoing a profound transformation. The integration of renewable energy sources, characterized by their variable and intermittent nature, has added a layer of complexity to the energy equation.
Flexibility resources and flexibility services
Energy flexibility comprises two key elements: flexibility resources and flexibility services. Flexibility resources represent tangible assets or processes that can be managed and controlled, while flexibility services provide abstract definitions of how these resources can be deployed to serve specific purposes. It's worth noting that a single flexibility resource can play a role in multiple flexibility services, contingent on its technical capabilities and operational functionalities.
One standout solution for harnessing energy flexibility is Distributed Energy Storage (DES). The associated flexibility service can be articulated as load shifting or peak shaving. This service is achieved through the aggregation of DES assets and their participation in Demand Response (DR) programs.
Energy Flexibility in Companies
The strategic deployment of flexibility services is a linchpin in a company's energy management strategy. The overarching objectives of energy management include optimizing the energy portfolio, which involves cost minimization and maintaining a balanced load while upholding production quality.
Nonetheless, optimizing energy efficiency in Energy-Intensive Industries (EIIs) presents a complex challenge. These industries often exhibit unidirectional and inelastic energy profiles, making the implementation of demand response schemes particularly daunting due to their high energy demands and limited digitalization.
The dearth of integrated solutions, best practices, and experience in managing the dynamic interplay of enabling technologies and fluctuating energy supplies leaves EIIs exposed to supply chain vulnerabilities, including price volatility and security concerns.
The Role of Trineflex
The TRINEFLEX project is at the forefront of addressing these issues. It aims to establish an integrated energy management framework designed to optimize energy flexibility across five European demonstration cases. Central to this effort is the conduction of an energy flexibility analysis to identify baselines for implementing flexibility measures in diverse industrial processes, all while considering the specific requirements of end-users. Ultimately, the project seeks to provide invaluable guidance on the seamless integration of energy flexibility technologies at each demonstration site, paving the way for a more adaptable and sustainable industrial energy landscape.
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