Lessons for business (and domestic) consumers

In the following table, we have summarised the findings of the e-harbours programme. We make a distinction between findings that are relevant for government bodies and policy makers, and lessons for consumers or business.

The grid works at the moment

For the average consumer and business, energy is only a minor part of total running costs and they have security of supply.

The sense of urgency at consumers’ level is too low.

Consumers do not realise how precarious their power supply is
It could help to make visible on the energy bill what the additional costs are of adding more renewable capacity to the system.
And then reward flexible consumers that reduce the costs for integration of renewables. Starting with end-users with relatively high energy bills, and businesses investing in new production facilities.

Smart consumption and green production makes business sense

For consumers, investing in local energy production, adapted to local consumption, already is the cheapest solution.
Energy is cheap to produce, but taxes and fees can make it expensive to buy. So the consumer is better off when he can avoid taxes through local production. Changing legislation and juridical frameworks could open new opportunities. Example: the definition of private nets….

Flexibility is available in large quantities, especially at medium and large industrial plants and in the batteries of e-mobility devices. Solutions have been found and can be transposed to other industrial plants/areas

Technically, flexibility is ready to be exploited

Smart consumption enables flexibility, thus enhancing the security of the supply chain.

Most of the EU-countries have enough short term flexibility, and partly, that is already exploited by large producers and consumers. These early adopters can make money and can inspire other end-users.

Institutional colleagues do not value it either

Identifying and exploiting available flexibility requires determination.
How can internal support for flexibility be created if there is no financial value?

Addressing the organisational pillar is one of the key challenges. Even where a technical solution has been identified to exploit flexibility, internal institutional
opposition or apathy can kill an idea.

Existing business cases take advantage of local conditions

Identifying and exploiting available flexibility also requires tailor made solutions.
Local conditions require local analysis and local business cases, local expertise and local energy.
Without standardisation, localism is the only approach

e-mobility business cases – It is all about scale

Fewer large vehicles may provide more predictable flexibility than lots of smaller ones.
Cars can work, so do buses. Small boats and big vessels work, but not necessarily middle sized ones.

Energy efficiency and awareness raising can make a big difference

Small harbours often have constrained grids. Focus on
energy efficiency and awareness raising, seeking low cost solutions.

Harbours change

7.000 used to work in the Malmo Western Harbour dockyards. 10.000 now work in the modern, high tech, low carbon, energy efficient Western Harbour, enjoying the benefits of low energy costs.
Is there a better place to invest, work, live and do business? Smart energy rejuvenation can lead to a high quality of life.

Demand from people and business will come from better awareness and information (about energy, economics and processes)

EU’s energy goals can be reached by promoting greater uptake of smart energy systems and demand side flexibility (options that are much more cost-efficient than building energy storage facilities or backup power plants)…
…what’s more, harbours and harbour cities are perfect places to reach industrial and domestic consumers.

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