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Demand response

Like other forms of traditional flexibility, demand-side flexibility is largely centralised and restricted to large industrial or commercial consumers.

Demand Response Jpg

Key findings

Demand response availability at times of highest flexibility needs and share in total flexibility provision in the Net Zero Scenario, 2020 and 2030


Demand response markets are expanding, but greater effort is needed to align with the Net Zero Scenario

Globally, the pace of market growth in demand response is not aligned with the 500 GW of capacity available in 2030 in the Net Zero Scenario, under which the need for electricity system flexibility, defined as the hour‐to‐hour change in output required from dispatchable resources, more than doubles to 2030. Demand response and battery storage combined are projected to meet around a quarter of flexibility needs globally by 2030 (increasing to meet half of flexibility needs by 2050).

European markets have been increasing demand response capacity since 2020, with some countries launching their first auctions or diversifying their portfolio of demand-side resources.

However, to correspond with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, the pace of policy implementation and technology deployment needs to accelerate. The Net Zero Scenario milestone has 500 GW of demand response brought onto the market by 2030, corresponding to a tenfold increase in deployment levels in 2020.
Our work

The Users TCP’s mission is to provide evidence from socio-technical research on the design, social acceptance and usability of clean energy technologies to inform policy making for clean, efficient and secure energy transitions. Decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation are embedding energy technologies in the heart of our communities. Communities’ response to these changes and use of energy technologies will determine the success of our energy systems. Poorly designed energy policies, and technologies that do not satisfy users’ needs, lead to ‘performance gaps’ that are both energy and economically inefficient. User-centred energy systems are therefore critical for delivering socially and politically acceptable energy transitions.