Governance perspectives on achieving demand side flexibility for net zero

Paper June 2024

Net-zero has rapidly become the accepted way of framing mitigation policy and sustainable development goals. A critical step to achieve net zero targets consists of demand side flexibility, i.e. the ability to flex consumption according to levels of low carbon electricity generation.

There is much emphasis on the importance of reaching high levels of flexibility, as this will enable balancing of renewables supply with demand, hence lowering energy costs. However, little attention has been paid to governance aspects, i.e. how demand side flexibility can happen and which institutions are responsible for delivering it.

This policy perspective paper makes use of net-zero “good governance” principles to review evidence on demand side flexibility governance in the UK. It discusses which areas are most relevant and how they could best be developed.