For more than 30 years, technology collaboration has been a fundamental building block among IEA Member and non-Member countries in facilitating progress of new or improved energy technologies. There are currently 40 Energy Technology Initiatives (formerly called Implementing Agreements) working in the areas of Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energies and Hydrogen, End-Use (Buildings, Industry and Transport), Fusion and Cross-Sectional Activities. The IEA Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT) and its Working Parties review the effectiveness, achievements and strategy of each Energy Technology Initiative.

IEA Demand Side Management Energy Technology Initiative

The Demand-Side Management (DSM) Programme, which was initiated in 1993, deals with a variety of strategies to reduce energy demand. 14 member countries and two sponsors have been working to identify and promote opportunities for DSM.

Programme Vision: Demand-side measures should be the first choice in all policy decisions designed to create more reliable and sustainable energy systems and markets.

Programme Mission: To deliver to our stakeholders useful information and effective guidance for crafting and implementing DSM policies and measures, along with necessary technologies and applications, which together can transform markets and facilitate energy system operations.

The Programme’s work is organised into two clusters: the load shape cluster, and the load level cluster.

With these distinctions it should be easier and more logical to oversee the work and to discuss its implications. There are of course overlaps between these two clusters but the new structure will mean the ongoing and completed Tasks can be sorted in those categories as shown in the Task overview.

The load shape cluster

Policy: “Countries should develop a regulatory regime that appoints responsibility for resource adequacy in the electricity systems and, when the regime so allows, makes demand-side balancing service the prioritised option”.

That will deliver:

  • Less Price Volatility by improving short-term price elasticity
  • Improved System Reliability by reducing peaks and adding to safety margins
  • Enhanced System Security by reducing dependency on vulnerable supply resources
  • Improved Restoration Capacity by dispatching in/after emergency situations
  • Risk Management by Demand Response measures
  • Less Costly Network Reinforcements since energy efficiency measures will be active alternatives
  • Distributed Generation as an alternative to transmission lines
  • Improved Operation and Use of Flowing Renewable sources

By means of e.g.:

  • Metering
  • Control and Communications
  • Dynamic Demand Changes to offset Renewable Generation Intermittancy
  • Modelling and Forecasting
  • Market Design
  • Storage
  • Customer appreciation (behaviour)

This cluster will include Tasks that seek to impact the shape of the load curve over very short (minutes-hours-day) to longer (days-week-season) time periods

The interest in load shaping activities should be most important to:

  1. Policymakers and regulators, since it will increase the system security, improve economic efficiency and possibly also have positive impacts on the environment
  2. Market operators, because of effects on market prices (with a clear customer benefit) and the reduction of the influence (power) of the big actors
  3. System operators, because of system balancing and the handling of disturbances in generation and transmission. It could also have the potential of preventing blackouts and certainly the restoration of systems after a blackout. Bottlenecks in transmission will be easier to deal with and there will be a better use of existing generation and transmission capacity
  4. Distribution network operators, who will find a tool to handle bottlenecks under peak periods and to utilise network capacity better. They will find it easier to handle distributed generation capacities and to increase the quality of supply
  5. Traders/suppliers/retailers, for their risk management and also to find new businesses e.g. acting as “aggregators” of demand response, and to
  6. Customers, who will have an economic benefit from the ability to react to prices and even trading of loads (prosumers). It will also improve reliability of the system, and lead to multiple co-benefits, for example improved health, energy security, affordability, comfort, convenience etc.

There are several ways to influence the load shape:

  1. Tariffs and pricing, which could be undertaken by network pricing and/or retail pricing but will probably need more innovative metering and communication systems to reach full effect
  2. Direct load control after agreement between the parties and mostly applicable to standard type of loads such as air-conditioning and heating
  3. Marketing of Demand-Side Bidding (see Task 8)
  4. Information and feedback, and
  5. Other behavioural and societal tools (see Task 24).

The load level cluster

This cluster will include Tasks that seek to shift the load curve to lower demand levels or shift loads from one energy system to another.

Policy: ” Countries should have a system for assessment of the least-cost delivery of energy services, that includes both the demand and supply side, and allows judgement on divergence from possible sustainable paths. Based on this it should be decided how market actors should be engaged in delivery of the services”

That will deliver:

  • Developments of markets for energy service companies and performance contracting
  • Allocation of commitments and obligations that mobilise a better set of actors for large scale energy efficiency actions e.g. use of “White Certificates”, Public sector procurement, municipality initiatives etc
  • Organisation and targeting of support programmes for energy efficient products
  • Improved allocation of obligations for reduction of GHG-emissions between sectors and countries
  • Improved use of market communication mechanisms, e.g. standards and labels
  • Improved information on how to support fuel or load switching
  • Assessment which gives input to how further research and support mechanisms should be distributed among actors.

By means of e.g.:

  • Technology, eg appliances and lighting
  • Building performance standards
  • Systems configuration, e.g. Distributed Generation
  • Delivery mechanisms, e.g. ESCo (see Task 16)
  • Other business models (see Task 25)
  • Programmes and tools to support delivery mechanisms, eg behavioural interventions
    (see Task 24)