Using Digitalisation in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies to Enable Demand Response in Buildings

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About this report

Electricity demand in buildings is set to grow strongly in emerging and developing economies, driven by rising living standards, improved energy access and widespread ownership of electrical appliances. This growth will mean not only an increase in average power consumption, but also in peak loads. If left unmanaged, these new loads can have significant impacts on the grid, threatening the security of electricity supply.

Smart use of electrical appliances could trigger additional efficiency gains and lead to lower overall energy consumption. When connected, some electrical appliances can also provide flexibility to the system by enabling the use of demand response. Digitalisation can thus transform new electrical appliances from burdens on the system to flexible load sources that help improve energy security. However, despite the potential of digital technologies for energy systems in transition, there are still many barriers to their development in emerging and developing economies.

This report explores how digitalisation in buildings can bring value to the power system using demand response. Best practices, case studies and policy recommendations targeted to emerging markets and developing economies are presented to help policy makers, regulators and system operators unlock the multiple grid benefits of deploying digital technologies in buildings.

This work forms part of the Digital Demand-Driven Electricity Networks Initiative, supported by the Clean Energy Transitions Programme, the IEA’s flagship initiative to transform the world’s energy system to achieve a secure and sustainable future for all.