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Energy Flexibility

The Renewable Energies Act (EEG) sets the aims for the energy turnaround in Germany. A central objective is that the percentage of renewable energies is raised from the current 33 % to 80 % in 2050 in regard to the gross electricity generation [1, 2].

Gross Electricity Production in Germany in 2017

Figure 1: Gross electricity production in Germany in 2017 in TWh; preliminary data, partially estimated; ** renewable portion; as of February 2018 (AG Energiebilanzen)

Base load suitable energy systems, such as water power and biomass, are only limitedly suitable technical and economical potentials for the increase of the percentage in renewable electricity production. Thus, the development is to be done mainly by wind power and solar energy [3].

Because these resources are subject to weather-based stochastic fluctuations, volatility in the electricity supply occurs. This is shown exemplary in figure 2 for a wind power plant. This poses a challenge to develop a technical solution to adapt to different electricity production situations.

Wind Power Prognosis for an exemplary Week in 2013

Figure 2: Wind power prognosis and actual supply for an exemplary week in 2013, based on quarter-hourly data

A possible approach to the integration of regenerative energy sources is to control the energy demand on the consumer side and thus adjusting it to the available supply. Especially in the industry, because of its high energy demand, there are great energy flexibility potentials to stabilize the electricity grid [4]. Through innovative market and fare structures, the economic advantages for the industry increase. While the largest potentials are suspected in the process industry, more economical potentials are hidden in the area of industrial crossover technologies, such as heat and refrigeration supply [5; 6, p. 210; 7, p. 90].


[1] Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Das Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz. [Online] Available: Accessed on: Aug. 01 2018.

[2] W.-P. Schill, “Systemintegration erneuerbarer Energien: Die Rolle von Speichern für die Energiewende,” Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung, vol. 82, no. 3, pp. 61–88, 2013.

[3] Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Erneuerbare Energien in Zahlen: Nationale und internationale Entwicklung.

[4] R. Popp et al., “Technische Innovationen für die Energieflexible Fabrik,” ZWF, vol. 108, no. 7-8, pp. 556–560, 2013.

[5] M. Steurer, “Analyse von Demand Side Integration im hinblick auf eine effiziente und umweltfreundliche Energieversorgung,” Research Report, Institute of Energy Economics and Rational Energy Use, Stuttgart, 2017.

[6] M. Klobasa, “Dynamische Simulation eines Lastmanagements und Intergration von Windenergie in ein Eletrizitätsnetz auf Landesebene unter regelungstechnischen und Kostengesichtspunkten,” Dissertation, ETH Zürich.

[7] M. Klobasa, G. Angerer, and A. Lüllmann, “Lastmanagement als Beitrag zur Deckung des Spitzenlastbedarf in Süddeutschland: Endbericht einer Studie von Fraunhofer ISI und der Forschunsgesellschaft für Energiewirtschaft,” Study, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, 2013.

[8] E. Unterberger, J. Glasschröder, and G. Reinhart, “Steigerung der Energieflexibilität von Fabriken,” ZWF, vol. 111, no. 3, pp. 91–94, 2016.


  • Climate target of Germany: An increase of the share of renewable energy sources in electricity production by 80 % compared to 1990 until 2050.
  • The industry as a sector with a significant end energy demand offers a great potential for the demand-side adjustment of the electricity consumption to the increasingly volatile electricity supply.
  • New market incentives provide an opportunity for additional income through an intercorporate load management for the industry.
  • Through skillfull production pooling, a flexible operation is also economically possible for small-scale consumers.
  • Our vision of the production of the future: energy-transparent and energy-optimized! Our activities in research, transfer and education strive to achieve that.