Which Flexibility Options Facilitate the Integration of Intermittent Renewable Energy Sources in Electricity Systems?

  • Christoph Zöphel
  • Steffi Schreiber
  • Theresa Müller
  • Dominik Möst
Energy Markets (R Sioshansi and S Mousavian, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Energy Markets


Purpose of Review

In the last decade, the growing penetration of renewable energy sources has induced an increasing research interest in the analysis of flexible energy systems. In particular, the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, as wind and photovoltaic energy, requires flexibility to compensate the imbalances between energy demand and supply. The objective of the paper is to provide a comprehensive literature review about the role of flexibility options in different electricity systems with focus on Europe and selected countries.

Recent Findings

According to the present analysis, it can be pointed out that the portfolio of flexibility options and the interdependencies between them are based on the prevalent energy system in a country or region.


The research on flexibility measures is mainly driven by the observed energy system characteristics as well as the pursued climate protection strategy. Additionally, it is not possible to cover the prospective flexibility needs with one flexibility option. Moreover, the optimal portfolio of flexibility measures depends on the type of flexibility provision required, the cost-effectiveness and whether the considered energy system is on a national or transnational level.


Flexibility options Residual load curve Renewable energy sources Flexible energy system Energy transition 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dominik Möst declares no conflicts of interest.

Christoph Zöphel reports grants from Boysen TU Dresden Graduate School (Friedrich and Elisabeth Boysen-Foundation, Foundation for Research and Innovation), during the conduct of the study.

Steffi Schreiber reports grants from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 691685, during the conduct of the study.

Theresa Müller reports grants from European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 691685, during the conduct of the study.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Zöphel
    • 1
  • Steffi Schreiber
    • 1
  • Theresa Müller
    • 1
  • Dominik Möst
    • 1
  1. 1.TU Dresden, Chair of Energy EconomicsDresdenGermany

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