The need for flexibility in a climate-neutral energy system

Installations of renewable energy sources, mainly wind and solar, have been growing strongly for the last fifteen years. We expect that growth will accelerate as renewables are today the most economical option for providing clean energy, cutting carbon emissions and slowing down the impact of climate change. However, renewables alone will not be enough to deliver a safe and reliable electricity supply. The way to climate neutrality has to be paved by a multitude of technologies, approaches and market mechanisms. Within this mix, flexibility stands out as one of the essential features of the energy system of the future.

In this discussion paper, developed by RGI in close collaboration with its transmission system operators (TSOs) and NGO members, we focused on flexibility and the large variety of flexibility options that will be necessary while we decarbonise. 

As the name suggests, a discussion paper is an ongoing work and not a final one, which tries through incremental steps to find a common understanding and shared terminology and to represents different needs and approaches to flexibility. Most importantly, it also addresses the challenges of the technical complexity of flexibility. It is a first step to bring some clarity and will need to be complemented by further discussions with RGI Members and all relevant actors. In this phase of the energy transition we have to constantly learn from each other in order to find  solutions.


Cristina Simioli
Director - Offshore Energy and Nature

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RGI animated video on Electrification & Flexibility

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.