Renewables at >50% in European grids


Customer should be the one deciding who, how and when their flexibility and data can be used. Easy market and data access will be designed to avoid customer lock-in to a single system operator, to a single flexibility service or to a single market platform.

May 2019 has seen quite some spot-on discussions in the EU-SysFlex project. Work on demonstrations has started, but it is not settled yet what exactly should and could be demonstrated. Joint Horizon2020 projects’ workshop called by EU-SysFlex on the eve of the InnoGrid conference brought together brightest and most motivated experts in the field of our interest. In the internal work package discussions, we have heard scary but novel concepts like ‘global optimization’ and ‘cross-border congestion management’…

This time the focus is on data management, but it should be seen just as a tool for a well-functioning energy market. Which in turn, of course, serves stakeholders including customers and benefits the whole society.

We take the customer perspective as the starting point in data discussions. Of course, the needs of system operators and other stakeholders have to be considered. But there’s little use of it, if customer’s interests are undermined. By saying ‘customer’ we mean most of all consumers but also prosumers and other smaller (distributed) players. We don’t see customers as passive consumers only. On the contrary, we want to see them as active participants in the market.

For active market participation one needs really easy access to the market. EU-SysFlex is about what I call ‘flexibility market’. This is just the proper market where these smaller distributed resources could act by selling their flexible demand or generation to system operators (but also trading the flexibility between themselves!). What should you or I do to start trading in such a market? Probably we would use services of an ‘aggregator’ as a kind of broker. But how could the aggregator easily access the market?

First, we need a proper marketplace. It is about rules and it is about technical systems to make it happen (we can call these ‘flexibility platforms’). This marketplace should be designed in the way which ensures the highest liquidity, bringing together different flexibility providers, buyers and products over different time horizons and different geographical areas.

Second, in order to make the market happen, we need easy access to data. Lack of proper information has been seen as a major market barrier, including by customers themselves. Data should not be hidden or protected unnecessarily. It should be public to the highest possible level, respecting, however, personal privacy, market interests of commercial players and system security responsibility of regulated players.

Customer should be the one deciding who, how and when their flexibility and data can be used. Easy market and data access will be designed to avoid customer lock-in to a single system operator, to a single flexibility service or to a single market platform. This is the aim of the single European energy market, whereas getting there should ensured through the interoperability of variety of marketplaces and data platforms.

EU-SysFlex is a unique Horizon2020 project having dedicated work packages for overarching setup of data management. Major goals in this respect include description of recommended data exchange model for Europe, proposals for privacy and cyber security and case studies on ‘big data’.

Last but not least, several demonstrations will focus on aspects of data management. They include cross-border communication between different data exchange platforms and with different stakeholders in order to facilitate the cross-border exchange of flexibility services. In these demos the plan is to rely on Estfeed data exchange platform initially developed by Elering, but to apply it now to cross-border phenomenon, to different data types and to different business processes.

Easier data access means easier market access!

Written by: Kalle Kukk (Elering), leading the EU-SysFlex Work Package on cross-border and cross-sectoral data management and exchange

Elering is the electricity and gas transmission system operator in Estonia. Elering`s operations are based on the principle of an open energy market and the awareness of responsibility for ensuring the functioning of the energy market and equal treatment of all energy market participants. Elering operates as the competence centre of energy field initiating the research and development projects and contributes with its know-how in the area of policy formulation. Elering recognizes the importance of a widespread use of information and communication technologies in the development of energy systems. In its operations, Elering takes into account expectations of interest groups and supports Estonian economy and competitiveness.

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Disclaimer: blog entries reflect individual views of the author(s) that may not reflect official positions or communication of the project / project consortium.

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