CHINA: Carbon Neutral by 2060

the business opportunities for EU energy solutions providers

A series of three online workshops jointly organised by ECECP and

WORKSHOP 3: Efficiency First – Session 4


Session Four: Next Generation System Efficiency

10:45 to 12:15 (CET) Wednesday 14 April 2021


The final session: bringing all the elements of an efficient net-zero system together requires all the latest techniques across generation, storage and grids. And our built environment (homes, offices, shopping centres etc.) will be woven into a bi-directional grid like never before. What should it look like? How will it drive efficiency? Our speakers will offer insights into:

Demand-side management – Dynamic Pricing – AI – IoT – Distributed Generation and Storage – EVs – Peak-shaving – Stakeholder and Consumer Engagement

Anna Acanfora



Cris Lowery
Analytics Manager, KEARNEY



Ahmet Köse
Co-founder and CIO, R8TECH



Brittney Elzarei





Energy is transforming from a centralised and mono-directional system – where companies supply power from big power generators to consumers – to a decentralised and bi-directional system that will give consumers the option to generate and store their own energy, inject it into the grid and decide when to use it.

This shift is well underway, but it still requires the uptake of smart technology, including artificial intelligence, and policies, regulations and communications that support its rollout. The necessary technologies such as artificial intelligence, smart meters, electric vehicles and behind-the-meter storage like home batteries already exist.

But consumers in particular need to understand the added value of shifting to, for example, plugging the energy stored in their EV into the grid. Privacy concerns, which have helped slow the smart meter rollout across Europe, need to be addressed.

Energy storage will be crucial in supporting the rise of renewable power generation, to help lessen power curtailment and boost energy efficiency. Until now, however, EU policymakers have often failed to give storage the attention and data collection needed to plan for it.

The transformation

  • The system is shifting from centralised and mono-directional to decentralised power production, more interaction between different stakeholders and a bi-directional energy flow.
  • Demand centres will be consuming energy, producing energy and eventually storing energy.
  • There are a lot of solutions out there that are already reliable and viable.
  • We have the twin challenge of addressing an increasing need for electricity while reducing emission – in the order of $20 trillion.
  • You need integration and planning. For this to be a success, you need it to be autonomous and personalised – AI can do that.
  • As EV ownership rises you need more demand-side response. You need the financial incentives and the AI to do it.
  • There needs to be cooperation between the energy provider, the DSO and TSO to ensure that solutions are deployed in a way that serves the whole system.
  • Smart meter deployments are far from complete, and a lot of the challenge for suppliers is that consumers are not always willing to adopt it.


  • When it comes to where to deploy these business models, it’s fundamental to start from cities.
  • They are responsible for over 70% of carbon emissions and cities host almost all of our buildings, which account for over 40% of carbon emissions.
  • 20% of the EU’s commercial buildings are ready for smart solutions.
  • Cities need to think about how to deploy an efficient building, and understand how that asset is an energy asset that is playing a role in the urban energy system.
  • We can plan infrastructure to spread transportation and mobility needs throughout the day, around shop openings, school times, etc.

Policy and regulation

  • Policy and the regulation should keep energy access as a primary and fundamental right for the wider community.
  • The variety of energy storage options available makes policymaking challenging because it’s very complex.
  • Policymakers increasingly recognise the role and value of energy storage but they don’t always consider storage across all different policies.
  • Data on storage is lacking. The European Commission’s modelling for 2030 and 2050 does not consider behind-the-meter storage.
  • Already now almost half of the storage deployed in the EU is behind the meter, so we’re seeing this huge potential for storage that is not being considered.
  • The EU is underestimating the flexibility needs of the future. It may need a target for storage for 2030 or 2050.
  • Governments that have been proactive in incentivising renewables deployment have been behind in terms of taking the whole system into perspective.
  • The revision of the Renewable Energy Directive to increase the target could and should put more focus on the whole integration of renewables, including storage.
  • Smart meters are the backbone for advanced energy offerings, so at the beginning it will be a mix of push-and-pull.


  • We are seeing a different role for energy consumers, moving from purely consumers of the energy commodity to also consumers that can make specific choices.
  • Energy companies need to work on their communications with customers and leverage digital solutions to exchange information.
  • The consumer is becoming more active, and this is important for combining renewables and storage, and in providing flexibility to the system – if the consumer is incentivised to do so.
  • If it’s too much hard work people are not going to get involved.
  • According to the Clean Energy Package, all consumers should have the right to store electricity and to feed it back into the grid.
  • Consumers need to understand the added value of smart meters.
  • In the future people will have an energy performance certificate and a smart readiness certificate that explains the advantages of smart technologies and suggest ways to improve it.


  • Storage can balance power grids, integrate variable renewables and reduce curtailment. It can save surplus energy at different levels of the system.
  • About 10% of the future storage deployments will be built to support the role of charging infrastructure.
  • Behind the meter, there is the possibility for smart charging and vehicle-to-grid solutions, providing flexibility so consumers don’t necessarily need to have stationary storage.
  • The business case for behind-the-meter storage is questionable. For example, why use a home battery when you could use an EV?

Full Summary (PDF 1.9 MB)