Promote flexibility - reduce emissions

Buildings as flexible stakeholders in the energy system

Decarbonization of the building sector is an important part of the energy transition, but little progress has been made to date. In order to be able to use more renewable energy as well as to stabilize the energy system, individual buildings or entire neighborhoods must be able to respond flexibly in the future to the fluctuating energy generation from wind and sun. With its analyses in FlexGeber, IKEM has uncovered legal barriers that currently prevent the use of the flexibility potential in the building sector. The results have now been published with the final report of the project.

In FlexGeber, novel heating and cooling technologies as well as solutions for the integration of renewable energies were developed and their application in commercially used buildings was tested. “Energy consumption and emissions were effectively reduced in FlexGeber’s practical test. The combination of photovoltaics with heat pumps or a storage technology stood out in particular. We see great potential here for developing flexibilities in the energy system and for decarbonizing the building sector,” says Judith Schäfer, head of energy law at IKEM.

However, according to Schäfer, obstacles to the grid-serving use of these technologies include the slow introduction of smart meters to date and the current legal framework: “Our energy law studies show that the provision of flexibility in commercially used buildings is hardly economically interesting. For flexibility potential to emerge, new regulations and more incentives would have to be created in the electricity pricing system. Here, the system of taxes and levies must be considered above all. One possibility, for example, would be to introduce dynamic network charges based on the current requirements of the power grid at any given time.”

IKEM has summarized proposals for a suitable legal framework in a roadmap to make the energy supply in the building sector more flexible.


Judith Schäfer-GendrischQuelle: IKEM/Jule Halsinger

IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility e.V.