Policy challenges for the development of energy flexibility services

Erwin Mlecnik*, James Parker, Zheng Ma, Cristina Corchero, Armin Knotzer, Roberta Pernetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


European energy policies call for an increased share of renewable energy sources and a more active role of the energy consumer. This is facilitated by, amongst others, buildings becoming energy flexible hubs, supporting smart energy grids with demand response strategies. While there is abundant technical research in this field, the related business and policy development is less well documented. This research scopes existing policy programmes and identifies opportunities and barriers to business development supporting energy flexible buildings. Using examples from seven European countries, this work reviews influencing niche management factors such as existing policy instruments, business development cases and identified stakeholder concerns, using literature research, narrative analysis and stakeholder research. National policy pathways show many differences but confirm that European buildings might become active players in the energy market, by providing energy storage, demand response and/or shifts in the use of energy sources. Slow sustained business development for energy flexibility services was mainly identified in the retail industry, and for energy service companies and aggregators. The direct involvement of end users in energy flexible buildings is still difficult. Stakeholders call for policy improvement, especially concerning the development of flexible energy tariffs, supporting incentives, awareness raising and more stakeholder-targeted business development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111147
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Demand response
  • Energy flexibility
  • Energy policy
  • Service development
  • Smart grids
  • Stakeholder research
  • Strategic niche management


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