Assessment of trade-offs between demand-side management and energy efficiency

Client: Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE)
Switzerland has set ambitious efficiency targets to help it meet its 2050 energy goals. Our client wanted to understand if these could be endangered by potential efficiency losses due to the implementation of flexible demand-side management (DSM). While DSM is one way to reduce the supply-demand mismatch caused by a growing share of variable renewable electricity generation, it could also result in energy intensive processes being run in suboptimal operation modes. E4tech reviewed commercial and industrial DSM potential in Switzerland and applied a multi-criteria ranking to identify representative examples for detailed case studies. We then interviewed industry experts and analysed operation patterns before and after DSM implementation for three applications: cement mills, deep-freeze warehouses, and waste-water treatment plants, looking at the expected impacts on efficiency. The final report contains application-specific recommendations and an informed discussion of the trade-offs between demand-side management and energy efficiency, to help the client in tailoring its funding policy.

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