Energy efficiency, demand side management and energy storage technologies: A critical analysis of possible paths of integration in the built environment

Lamberto Tronchin, Massimiliano Manfren, Benedetto Nastasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


The transition towards energy systems characterized by high share of weather dependent renewable energy sources poses the problem of balancing the mismatch between inflexible production and inelastic demand with appropriate solutions, which should be feasible from the techno-economic as well as from the environmental point of view. Temporal and spatial decoupling of supply and demand is an important element to be considered for the evolution of built environment, especially when creating sectorial level planning strategies and policies. Energy efficiency measures, on-site generation technologies, demand side management and storage systems are reshaping energy infrastructures and energy market, together with innovative business models. Optimal design and operational choices in buildings are systemic, but buildings are also nodes in infrastructural systems and model-based approaches are generally used to guide decision-making processes, at multiple scale. Built environment could represent a suitable intermediate scale of analysis in Multi-Level Perspective planning, collocated among infrastructures and users. Therefore, the spatial and temporal scalability of modelling techniques is analyzed, together with the possibility of accommodating multiple stakeholders’ perspectives in decision-making, thereby finding synergies across multiple sectors of energy demand. For this reason, the paper investigates first the cross-sectorial role of models in the energy sector, because the use of common principles and techniques could stimulate a rapid development of multi-disciplinary research, aimed at sustainable energy transitions. Further, relevant issues for the integration of energy storage in built environment are described, considering their relationship with energy efficiency measures, on-site generation and demand side management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-353
JournalRenewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event12th Conference on Sustainable Development of Energy, Water, and Environment Systems 2017 - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Duration: 4 Oct 20178 Oct 2017


  • Energy transition modelling in the built environment
  • Multi-Level Perspective planning
  • Technologies for Sustainable Buildings
  • demand side management
  • Energy storage systems
  • Power to Heat
  • Power to Gas


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