Position papers

The European steel industry recommendations on Industrial Demand Side Response

Uses, limits, and realistic potentials of demand-side response from the European steel industry along with a broad set of framework recommendations for an EU policy

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Executive summary

As decentralised energy systems will be dominated by variable and intermittent weather-dependent electricity generation, the provision of flexibility services under all relevant time-frames will need to be scaled massively to maintain an efficient functioning and security of supply.

The European steel industry is already a key provider of flexibility in the EU electricity system.

The need to realise in record-time new fossil-free generation capacity and expand electricity grids, key enablers of the decarbonisation of industries, shall nonetheless remain the priority.

The sector could contribute further provided that the structural challenges around the energy transition, namely the speedy roll-out of new generation capacity, the expansion of grids, and the restoration of cost-affordable electricity prices, are addressed first and as a priority.

The assessments of flexibility needs, technology potentials, and the related target-setting process shall preserve and respect the economic, organisational, and technical limits of industrial production processes such as steel.

European and national initiatives on demand-side response should create the optimal conditions for industrial consumers to provide flexibility while retaining international competitiveness and limiting overall electricity system costs:

  • Maintaining participation of industry to demand-side response schemes, voluntary;
  • Ensuring that public support schemes for investments in fossil-free demand-side response can be swiftly and seamlessly accessed by energy-intensive industries under the new rules adopted with the technical reform of the Union electricity markets design regulatory framework;
  • Guaranteeing that national assessments of flexibility needs under the new electricity markets regulatory framework do not overlook the untapped potential of other flexibility technologies;
  • Shielding industrial consumers from additional regulatory costs due to the expansion of capacity mechanisms.

The steel sector overall welcomes the increased focus and planned actions to unlock the full potential of the wider range of DSR technologies in the pursuit of increased system resilience and more efficient use of electricity grids.

Full text available in the pdf below.

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Published: 04 March 2024

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The European Steel Association (EUROFER)
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