Industrial demand-side flexibility: A key element of a just energy transition and industrial development

Raphael Heffron, Marc Fabian Körner, Jonathan Wagner, Martin Weibelzahl (Lead / Corresponding author), Gilbert Fridgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


In many countries, industry is one of the largest consumers of electricity. Given the special importance of electricity for industry, a reliable electricity supply is a basic prerequisite for further industrial development and associated economic growth. As countries worldwide transition to a low-carbon economy (in particular, by the development of renewable energy sources), the increasing fluctuation in renewable energy production requires new flexibility options within the electricity system in order to guarantee security of supply. It is advanced in this paper that such a flexibility transition with an active participation of industry in general has unique potential: It will not only promote green industrial development, but also become an engine for inclusive industrial development and growth as well as delivering a just transition to a low-carbon economy. Given the high potential of industrial demand-side flexibility, a first monitoring approach for such a flexibility transition is illustrated, which bases on a flexibility index. Our flexibility index allows for an indication of mis-developments and supports an appropriate implementation of countermeasures together with relevant stakeholders. Hence, it holds various insights for both policy-makers and practice with respect to how industrial demand-side flexibility can ensure advances towards an inclusive, just, and sustainable industrial development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115026
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date27 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • Energy transition
  • Flexibility justice
  • Inclusive growth
  • Industrial demand-side flexibility
  • Industrial development
  • Just energy transition


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