LIFE Project Cover Photo

Demand Response in Industrial Production

Reference: LIFE11 ENV/DE/000340 | Acronym: DRIP



Electricity generation and the electricity grids are facing a radical challenge. On the one hand, scarce fossil resources as well as CO2 emission targets mean that an increasing share of energy generation must come from renewable energy sources (RES); on the other hand, the largely decentralised and highly intermittent electricity generated by RES changes the traditional patterns of energy consumption and generation. To meet increasing energy demand a stable and efficient operation of the grids is needed. The expansion of RES requires new ways of load management. Whereas conventional energy fuels can be converted whenever needed, RES cannot. Wind and solar power generation depend on external conditions and their supply is not directly controllable. Demand Response (DR) aims to adjust the electricity demand to the grid requirements at a given point of time. It is an important pillar in the context of Smart Grid concepts for achieving the EU's 20/20/20 goals.


The objective of the DRIP project was to better match the electricity consumption curve with the changing supply curve due to electricity being generated from intermittent renewable energy sources (RES). This should be possible if consumers flexibly adapt their demand to the actual supply and price, which is called Demand Response (DR). DRIP aimed to develop a procedure to determine the flexible demand of customers and to quantify the environmental (CO2 emission reduction), technical (grid stability and throughput) and economic benefits (optimum input from RES and traditional sources) throughout the electricity supply chain (electric network operators, energy retailers, and customers). The consortium aimed to perform field demonstrations of DR implementation, to show energy retailers and industrial consumers the benefits of more flexible energy consumption. The project also planned to define DR certification prerequisites and to develop a business model that facilitates market acceptance of DR services and products.


The DRIP project successfully demonstrated Demand Response (DR) and its benefits in real-world situations, by adjusted an electricity supply generated using intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) to meet customers’ demands. It showed how an electricity supply company could respond at short notice to demand, and developed a standardised selection procedure for possible participants in this complex multi-stakeholder mechanism. The project developed innovative methodologies and tools to facilitate DR, which could be replicated widely. Therefore, the project provided important stepping stones towards transparent and well-organised DR implementation.

Five main customer groups dominate the electricity demand side in the EU: agriculture, services, private households, transport and industry. DRIP focussed on industry, which has by far the largest DR potential. The project consortium assessed the potential supply flexibility and promoted the benefits of adapting energy demand to supply patterns (to arrive at the most profitable win-win situation) at four sites in three countries, in energy-intensive meat processing and paper production industrial facilities.

The project team analysed the market potential for DR, and identified barriers and the means to overcome them. One key barrier identified was the slow implementation of smart metering for electricity. Consortium members developed a methodology for DR mechanisms covering all stakeholders, prepared certification procedures, and developed a simulation tool for the practical implementation of DR (with a simplified version available to download from the project website). The DRIP approach brings environmental, technical and economic benefits along the entire energy supply chain, as demonstrated during the project, from electricity companies to consumers. A reduction in energy consumption is a regular side effect of demand flexibility, as it cuts down on energy oversupply and optimises the use of peak capacity. Therefore, DR could lead to fewer fossil fuel powerplants and a reduced need for more generation and transmission infrastructure.

Based on a study by Capgemini in 2008, for example, 202 TWh of annual energy savings could be realised by DR programmes in the EU, with $50 billion saved by investments relating to peak generation capacity. This also equates to reduced emissions by 500g CO2 per kWh, enabling DR to achieve up to 25 % of the EU’s 2020 target concerning CO2 emissions reductions, and €25 billion annual savings in electricity bills for customers. In terms of wider socio-economic benefits, a more stable energy supply and the promotion of the RES are important social demands. Though mechanisms are needed to ensure that modern gas/steam power stations do not lose out competitively to more polluting lignite power stations, DR can reduce CO2 emissions, optimise RES use, lower the risks of blackouts due to a more stable grid, and result in lower tariff prices for power. Once DR becomes widely available, it will foster an increased use of RES.

The project’s DR approach will enable customers to act on the market, resulting in closer interaction between consumers and producers. Energy-intensive industries, such as the food and paper sectors, are expected to realise a huge optimisation potential in their energy consumption, with resulting economic benefits and increased competitiveness (depending on the legal regulation of the country where the customer facilities are located). DRIP therefore paved the ground for the coming legislation and standards on DR certification and trading.

The project contributed to the implementation of EU policy on climate change mitigation; the RES Directive (2001/77/EC); the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (2014); the 20/20/20 goals of Directive 2009/28/EC concerning energy efficiency, RES and CO2 emissions; and the Energy Service Directive (2006/32/EC).

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Reference: LIFE11 ENV/DE/000340
Acronym: DRIP
Start Date: 01/09/2012
End Date: 28/02/2015
Total Budget: 994,286 €
EU Contribution: 484,642 €
Project Location:


Coordinating Beneficiary: RWE Deutschland AG
Legal Status: PCO
Address: Kruppstraße 5, 45128, Essen, Deutschland
Contact Person: Thomas WIEDEMANN
Tel: +49 201 12-29390

LIFE Project Map



  • Efficiency


  • monitoring
  • energy supply
  • management plan
  • renewable energy


  • Directive 2009/28 - Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (23.04.2009)
  • Directive 2006/32/EC - Energy end-use efficiency and energy services (05.04.2006)


Name Type
RWE Deutschland AG Coordinator
Campofrio Food Group SA, Spain Participant
Klingele Papierwerke GmbH & Co. KG, Germany Participant
Essent New Energy B.V., The Netherlands Participant
Demanda Activa de Energía SL, Spain Participant
Energy Consulting Allgäu GmbH, Germany Participant