Flexibility characterization, customer engagement strategy and implementation for power flexibility users

Article authored by Ione López González, from Iberdrola

Characterizing power flexibility is crucial in today’s dynamic energy landscape. As we delve into understanding the diverse aspects of power flexibility, it is essential to explore customer engagement strategies and their effective implementation for power flexibility users.

Characterizing Power Flexibility

Power flexibility refers to the ability of a power system to respond to changes in power demand and supply. This can involve adjusting generation, consumption, or storage in reaction to market signals, grid conditions, congestions or other factors. The characterization of power flexibility involves understanding its dimensions in terms of time, energy volumes, resources, buffers, and energy needs.

Flexibility in power markets and systems requires a comprehensive assessment of constraints, barriers, and time scales. This includes gate closure and physical delivery considerations. Characterization, research, and analysis are essential to identify the potential resources for flexibility and the technical and economic aspects of utilizing them effectively.

Furthermore, the characterization of flexibility providers plays a significant role in understanding demand-side flexibility. Methodologies for quantifying energy flexibility available all service providers are critical for leveraging this resource optimally.

Customer Engagement Strategy

Engaging customers in the realm of power flexibility involves creating awareness of social benefits, providing incentives, and facilitating their participation in demand response programs, energy efficiency initiatives, and distributed energy resource management with hardware and software tools. An effective customer engagement strategy aims to empower users to make informed decisions about their energy usage while contributing to grid stability and sustainability.

Personalized communication, user-friendly interfaces, and transparent information on the benefits of flexible energy usage are key components of customer engagement strategies. By involving customers in the dialogue about power flexibility, utilities and energy service providers can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among users.

Implementation for Power Flexibility Users

Implementing power flexibility strategies requires collaboration among stakeholders including utilities, regulatory bodies, technology providers, and end-users. It involves deploying advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid technologies, and IoT-enabled devices for real-time monitoring and control.

For power flexibility users, implementation involves access to user-friendly platforms that provide insights into their energy consumption patterns, real-time pricing signals, and options for load shifting or curtailing during peak periods. Incentive programs such as time-of-use pricing or demand response incentives can encourage active participation from users.

Moreover, integrating renewable energy sources with storage technologies enables users to capitalize on clean energy generation while contributing to grid stability through flexible usage patterns.

In conclusion, understanding the characterization of power flexibility is essential for shaping customer engagement strategies and their successful implementation for power flexibility users. By fostering collaboration between stakeholders and empowering end-users with knowledge and tools, we can harness the full potential of power flexibility while driving sustainable energy practices.

This article summarizes key takeaways from Deliverable 6.2, titled “Flexibility Characterization and Customer Engagement Strategy implementation report” developed within the framework of the BeFlexible project. To access the complete document, please click here.

 

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Article authored by Ione López González, from Iberdrola

Characterizing power flexibility is crucial in today’s dynamic energy landscape. As we delve into understanding the diverse aspects of power flexibility, it is essential to explore customer engagement strategies and their effective implementation for power flexibility users.

Characterizing Power Flexibility

Power flexibility refers to the ability of a power system to respond to changes in power demand and supply. This can involve adjusting generation, consumption, or storage in reaction to market signals, grid conditions, congestions or other factors. The characterization of power flexibility involves understanding its dimensions in terms of time, energy volumes, resources, buffers, and energy needs.

Flexibility in power markets and systems requires a comprehensive assessment of constraints, barriers, and time scales. This includes gate closure and physical delivery considerations. Characterization, research, and analysis are essential to identify the potential resources for flexibility and the technical and economic aspects of utilizing them effectively.

Furthermore, the characterization of flexibility providers plays a significant role in understanding demand-side flexibility. Methodologies for quantifying energy flexibility available all service providers are critical for leveraging this resource optimally.

Customer Engagement Strategy

Engaging customers in the realm of power flexibility involves creating awareness of social benefits, providing incentives, and facilitating their participation in demand response programs, energy efficiency initiatives, and distributed energy resource management with hardware and software tools. An effective customer engagement strategy aims to empower users to make informed decisions about their energy usage while contributing to grid stability and sustainability.

Personalized communication, user-friendly interfaces, and transparent information on the benefits of flexible energy usage are key components of customer engagement strategies. By involving customers in the dialogue about power flexibility, utilities and energy service providers can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility among users.

Implementation for Power Flexibility Users

Implementing power flexibility strategies requires collaboration among stakeholders including utilities, regulatory bodies, technology providers, and end-users. It involves deploying advanced metering infrastructure, smart grid technologies, and IoT-enabled devices for real-time monitoring and control.

For power flexibility users, implementation involves access to user-friendly platforms that provide insights into their energy consumption patterns, real-time pricing signals, and options for load shifting or curtailing during peak periods. Incentive programs such as time-of-use pricing or demand response incentives can encourage active participation from users.

Moreover, integrating renewable energy sources with storage technologies enables users to capitalize on clean energy generation while contributing to grid stability through flexible usage patterns.

In conclusion, understanding the characterization of power flexibility is essential for shaping customer engagement strategies and their successful implementation for power flexibility users. By fostering collaboration between stakeholders and empowering end-users with knowledge and tools, we can harness the full potential of power flexibility while driving sustainable energy practices.

This article summarizes key takeaways from Deliverable 6.2, titled “Flexibility Characterization and Customer Engagement Strategy implementation report” developed within the framework of the BeFlexible project. To access the complete document, please click here.

 

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Improving flexibility markets and prosumers engagement

Article by Giorgia Lattanzio and Marco Rossi, from Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE S.p.A)

The objective of a carbon neutral Europe in 2050 has unleashed a steep increase of renewable energy production, a kind of energy characterized by volatility and unpredictability. To comply with these characteristics, the energy system is becoming more flexible exploiting a coordinated exercise between production and consumption. Those units able to provide flexibility to manage loading/voltage congestions are mostly connected to distribution grid, thus the new electric system leverages on the possibility, not only for DSO, but also for TSO to rely on distribution resources. Therefore, DSO are assuming two different new roles: buyers of flexibility services and neutral facilitators to allow TSO the procurement of global services. Here the necessity of a coordination between TSO and DSO arises: how to efficiently use flexible and shared resources?

BeFlexible’s pilot in Italy

In Italy, pilot projects have been launched to introduce the procurement of flexibility services for DSO. BeFlexible collects the experience from two of them: EDGE by E-Distribuzione and RomeFlex by Areti. Different procurement approaches have been defined and will be tested in 2024:

  • EDGE considers the use of long-term contracts to procure flexibility and a real-time activation when services are needed.
  • RomeFlex considers long-term contracts and short-term markets, where qualified service providers can offer flexibility services.

In the meantime, the Italian TSO Terna developed the Dynamic Traffic Light Mechanism: a coordination architecture that allow DSO to update grid constraints relatively to the maximum allowed flexibility volume on a certain grid portion. DSO can specify the network status by means of the traffic light concept:  when the DSO observes that the modulation of a flexible unit could produce critical conditions, DSO will associate a colour and the capability to each pre-defined grid portion.

To optimize the overall system costs, the possibility of service providers to participate to the provision of both global and local services (to TSO and DSO respectively) is fundamental because market liquidity would increase and so does competitivity. However, the definition of a market coordination is necessary in such context. For this reason, in the BeFlexible South-Mid demo a possible coordination scheme concerning how to select shared resources is defined and tested. A well-functioning scheme should be able to give valuable economic benefits reducing grid reinforcement costs which then pass on consumers bills, assuring distribution and transmission network stability and contributing to reach the objective of the energy transition (environmental values). To promote a smart use of the energy system means to reduce network issues at small costs; a target which can be achieved more likely when consumer engagement and energy awareness of final users (social values) are empowered. Furthermore, comfort and convenience values for users are fundamental to allow the overall system to sustain itself: for example, if enabling processes for the provision of services are facilitated and unified/standardized, the effort required to service providers is reduced, thus comfort increases, and a greater number of flexibility markets participants is expected. This would contribute to further increase competitivity with the consequence of minimizing costs.

Conclusive remarks

The first task of the South-Mid demo analyses the concept of a coordination mechanism looking at market and technical aspects. The Crowd Balancing Platform is presented as a single-entry point to facilitate access to the service provision, and a coordination mechanism is defined looking at the different procurement phases: registration, prequalification, market and monitoring and activation phases. Expected benefits are pointed out looking at all the previously delineated values.

This article summarizes key takeaways from Deliverable 4.1, titled “DEMO 1 Methodological report.” To access the complete document, please click here.

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Article by Giorgia Lattanzio and Marco Rossi, from Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE S.p.A)

The objective of a carbon neutral Europe in 2050 has unleashed a steep increase of renewable energy production, a kind of energy characterized by volatility and unpredictability. To comply with these characteristics, the energy system is becoming more flexible exploiting a coordinated exercise between production and consumption. Those units able to provide flexibility to manage loading/voltage congestions are mostly connected to distribution grid, thus the new electric system leverages on the possibility, not only for DSO, but also for TSO to rely on distribution resources. Therefore, DSO are assuming two different new roles: buyers of flexibility services and neutral facilitators to allow TSO the procurement of global services. Here the necessity of a coordination between TSO and DSO arises: how to efficiently use flexible and shared resources?

BeFlexible’s pilot in Italy

In Italy, pilot projects have been launched to introduce the procurement of flexibility services for DSO. BeFlexible collects the experience from two of them: EDGE by E-Distribuzione and RomeFlex by Areti. Different procurement approaches have been defined and will be tested in 2024:

  • EDGE considers the use of long-term contracts to procure flexibility and a real-time activation when services are needed.
  • RomeFlex considers long-term contracts and short-term markets, where qualified service providers can offer flexibility services.

In the meantime, the Italian TSO Terna developed the Dynamic Traffic Light Mechanism: a coordination architecture that allow DSO to update grid constraints relatively to the maximum allowed flexibility volume on a certain grid portion. DSO can specify the network status by means of the traffic light concept:  when the DSO observes that the modulation of a flexible unit could produce critical conditions, DSO will associate a colour and the capability to each pre-defined grid portion.

To optimize the overall system costs, the possibility of service providers to participate to the provision of both global and local services (to TSO and DSO respectively) is fundamental because market liquidity would increase and so does competitivity. However, the definition of a market coordination is necessary in such context. For this reason, in the BeFlexible South-Mid demo a possible coordination scheme concerning how to select shared resources is defined and tested. A well-functioning scheme should be able to give valuable economic benefits reducing grid reinforcement costs which then pass on consumers bills, assuring distribution and transmission network stability and contributing to reach the objective of the energy transition (environmental values). To promote a smart use of the energy system means to reduce network issues at small costs; a target which can be achieved more likely when consumer engagement and energy awareness of final users (social values) are empowered. Furthermore, comfort and convenience values for users are fundamental to allow the overall system to sustain itself: for example, if enabling processes for the provision of services are facilitated and unified/standardized, the effort required to service providers is reduced, thus comfort increases, and a greater number of flexibility markets participants is expected. This would contribute to further increase competitivity with the consequence of minimizing costs.

Conclusive remarks

The first task of the South-Mid demo analyses the concept of a coordination mechanism looking at market and technical aspects. The Crowd Balancing Platform is presented as a single-entry point to facilitate access to the service provision, and a coordination mechanism is defined looking at the different procurement phases: registration, prequalification, market and monitoring and activation phases. Expected benefits are pointed out looking at all the previously delineated values.

This article summarizes key takeaways from Deliverable 4.1, titled “DEMO 1 Methodological report.” To access the complete document, please click here.

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

BeFlexible in short: how is our project working towards a more flexible energy system?

Watch our new project video summarizing our goals, action points and pilots

 

Exciting news is on the horizon at BeFlexible as we proudly unveil our latest project video, a comprehensive guide to understanding how we are driving change towards a more flexible energy system. This video encapsulates our mission, goals, action points, and ongoing pilot programs.

At BeFlexible, our commitment lies in the intersection of innovation and sustainability, as we work towards reshaping the energy landscape with a focus on adaptability and resilience.

Our mission revolves around redefining the conventional energy system, moving from a rigid structure to one that seamlessly adapts to the evolving needs of our planet. For a clearer understanding of our endeavors, we encourage you to explore our latest project video:

 

Stay tuned for updates!

You can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Watch our new project video summarizing our goals, action points and pilots

 

Exciting news is on the horizon at BeFlexible as we proudly unveil our latest project video, a comprehensive guide to understanding how we are driving change towards a more flexible energy system. This video encapsulates our mission, goals, action points, and ongoing pilot programs.

At BeFlexible, our commitment lies in the intersection of innovation and sustainability, as we work towards reshaping the energy landscape with a focus on adaptability and resilience.

Our mission revolves around redefining the conventional energy system, moving from a rigid structure to one that seamlessly adapts to the evolving needs of our planet. For a clearer understanding of our endeavors, we encourage you to explore our latest project video:

 

Stay tuned for updates!

You can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

BeFlexible’s collaborative session at ENLIT Europe sparks insightful dialogues

ENLIT Europe unfolded its dynamic energy landscape from November 28 to 30 in Paris, featuring a session organized by BeFlexible in collaboration with ENFLATE and STREAM projects. Held on November 28 from 13:30 to 14:30, the session, titled “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?” provided attendees with a platform for thoughtful discussions.

The event, which attracted over 150 enthusiasts eager to explore the intricacies of the evolving energy sector, featured speakers whose expertise elevated the discussions:

  • Fernando David Martin Utrilla: i-DE (Iberdrola group), BEFLEXIBLE Project Coordinator.
  • Jan Jeriha: University of Ljubljana, Stream_HE Project Coordinator.
  • Katerina Drivakou: UBITECH, ENFLATE Project Coordinator.
  • Ricardo Bessa: INESC TEC, Keynote Speaker, BeFlexible Project.
  • Susana Garayoa: Moderator and Institutional Relations at Zabala Innovation Europe, and part of BeFlexible EU.

Unlocking flexibility markets

The panel delved into critical topics surrounding flexibility markets, offering valuable insights into the energy sector’s future possibilities. Discussion points included barriers and motivations driving consumer engagement, platform interoperability, and evolving regulatory frameworks. The session emphasized a paradigm shift towards intelligent grid connectivity for consumers, recognizing the demand for incentives, education, feedback, and support in active participation.

Highlighting the pivotal role of platforms, the panel explored possibilities within various EU-funded cluster projects. Regulatory challenges and proposed flexible service solutions were also discussed.

Key takeaways from the keynote speaker, Ricardo Bessa, included the challenge of long-term customer engagement in flexibility markets, the potential of a combination of monetary and non-monetary incentives to unlock flexibility, the need for increased consumer information and energy literacy, and the bottleneck of low voltage grids for decarbonization, requiring new planning and operational paradigms.

Moreover, he explained that interoperability between platforms, systems, and services is fundamental for fast and cost-effective flexibility exploitation.

Addressing regulatory complexities, Bessa highlighted the growing challenge of accommodating new Distributed Energy Resources (DER), roles, and business models, with a specific focus on cross-border harmonization, the explicit integration of flexibility in security of supply assessments, and the implementation of cost-reflective network charges.

The event not only facilitated knowledge exchange but underscored the collaborative efforts necessary to shape the future of the energy landscape.

BeFlexible extends sincere thanks to all participants for their active involvement. The collaborative spirit and commitment to innovation have set the stage for continued exploration in the ever-evolving energy landscape.

ENLIT Europe unfolded its dynamic energy landscape from November 28 to 30 in Paris, featuring a session organized by BeFlexible in collaboration with ENFLATE and STREAM projects. Held on November 28 from 13:30 to 14:30, the session, titled “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?” provided attendees with a platform for thoughtful discussions.

The event, which attracted over 150 enthusiasts eager to explore the intricacies of the evolving energy sector, featured speakers whose expertise elevated the discussions:

  • Fernando David Martin Utrilla: i-DE (Iberdrola group), BEFLEXIBLE Project Coordinator.
  • Jan Jeriha: University of Ljubljana, Stream_HE Project Coordinator.
  • Katerina Drivakou: UBITECH, ENFLATE Project Coordinator.
  • Ricardo Bessa: INESC TEC, Keynote Speaker, BeFlexible Project.
  • Susana Garayoa: Moderator and Institutional Relations at Zabala Innovation Europe, and part of BeFlexible EU.

Unlocking flexibility markets

The panel delved into critical topics surrounding flexibility markets, offering valuable insights into the energy sector’s future possibilities. Discussion points included barriers and motivations driving consumer engagement, platform interoperability, and evolving regulatory frameworks. The session emphasized a paradigm shift towards intelligent grid connectivity for consumers, recognizing the demand for incentives, education, feedback, and support in active participation.

Highlighting the pivotal role of platforms, the panel explored possibilities within various EU-funded cluster projects. Regulatory challenges and proposed flexible service solutions were also discussed.

Key takeaways from the keynote speaker, Ricardo Bessa, included the challenge of long-term customer engagement in flexibility markets, the potential of a combination of monetary and non-monetary incentives to unlock flexibility, the need for increased consumer information and energy literacy, and the bottleneck of low voltage grids for decarbonization, requiring new planning and operational paradigms.

Moreover, he explained that interoperability between platforms, systems, and services is fundamental for fast and cost-effective flexibility exploitation.

Addressing regulatory complexities, Bessa highlighted the growing challenge of accommodating new Distributed Energy Resources (DER), roles, and business models, with a specific focus on cross-border harmonization, the explicit integration of flexibility in security of supply assessments, and the implementation of cost-reflective network charges.

The event not only facilitated knowledge exchange but underscored the collaborative efforts necessary to shape the future of the energy landscape.

BeFlexible extends sincere thanks to all participants for their active involvement. The collaborative spirit and commitment to innovation have set the stage for continued exploration in the ever-evolving energy landscape.

Europe advances towards greater energy flexibility in the first year of the BeFlexible project

The initiative, funded by the European Commission, celebrates its first anniversary under the coordination of i-DE, the distribution company of the Iberdrola Group

 

The European project BeFlexible recently celebrated its first anniversary in the city of Porto, Portugal, marking a year of dedicated efforts to promote energy flexibility in Europe. This innovative initiative, led by i-DE, the distributor of the Iberdrola Group, brought together its consortium at the facilities of InescTec, the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology, and Science, to hold its General Assembly. With this project, the Iberdrola Group’s distributor in Spain takes a strategic step forward for the electricity distribution activity, as the promotion of flexibility is key to enabling a much more efficient use of the grids.

 

The BeFlexible project, funded by the European Commission through the Horizon Europe program, aims to empower the participation of “prosumers” in generating electricity from renewable sources and increase the flexibility of the entire electrical system. This initiative is intended to transform the European energy system, directing it toward a more sustainable and adaptable future, in line with the European Union’s commitments to combating climate change and promoting clean and renewable energy sources.

 

During the first year of the BeFlexible project, significant progress has been made in preparing and establishing the necessary procedures for its execution. BeFlexible will carry out various pilots in Italy, Sweden, Spain, and France, demonstrating the versatility of the concept in different environments, from types of consumers to geographical and climatic areas, with the aim of evaluating the impact of the proposed services, platforms, and architectures. These pilots will validate customer participation strategies and promote adoption in the market. The strategic pilots that are part of this ambitious project are in preparation and will soon begin their implementation in different European countries.

 

One of the highlights of this project is the close collaboration among the 21 partners and the 3 affiliated entities from 7 European countries that make up the consortium. The involvement and commitment of these partners, including DSOs, TSOs, aggregators, research and development centers, universities, and industrial technology providers, have been essential for the successful progress of BeFlexible.

Furthermore, BeFlexible collaborates closely with other projects funded under the same call, STREAM and ENFLATE, thus strengthening cooperation between initiatives that share similar objectives and challenges in the European Energy Transition. Both projects were presented at the BeFlexible General Assembly by their coordinators from the University of Ljubljana and Ubitech Energy.

The BeFlexible project aligns with the current climate goals of the European Union, the Fit for 55 package, as well as the Recovery Plan and actions and roadmaps implemented by the European Technology and Innovation Platform Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP SNET).

Boosting engagement to increase flexibility

One of the main challenges Europe faces is the growing production of renewable energy and the need for a modern and flexible electricity market that can integrate a higher proportion of clean energy sources.

BeFlexible aims to overcome these limitations through versatile solutions that allow networks to adapt to future scenarios and promote mechanisms that benefit all players in the energy market. The BeFlexible project is based on four main blocks:

  • Market and Regulation Analysis: A flexible framework for new business opportunities will be defined.
  • Service Ecosystem: A wide range of flexibility solutions and cross-cutting services will be offered to end-users.
  • Platforms and Architectures: A Business and Network Data (GDBN) network and system architecture will be implemented to ensure complete data interoperability.
  • Customer Participation: A social co-creation approach will be adopted to meet consumer needs.

Next meeting point with stakeholders

BeFlexible is preparing for its participation in the ENLIT Europe event, one of the most relevant forums in the European energy industry. This event will take place in Paris from November 28 to 30 and will be a unique opportunity for the project to present itself to key players in the sector. At ENLIT, BeFlexible has organized a special session on November 28th titled “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?” where the speakers will address the crucial topic of energy flexibility. The project will also be present at the pavilion, engaging with attendees.

The initiative, funded by the European Commission, celebrates its first anniversary under the coordination of i-DE, the distribution company of the Iberdrola Group

 

The European project BeFlexible recently celebrated its first anniversary in the city of Porto, Portugal, marking a year of dedicated efforts to promote energy flexibility in Europe. This innovative initiative, led by i-DE, the distributor of the Iberdrola Group, brought together its consortium at the facilities of InescTec, the Institute of Systems and Computer Engineering, Technology, and Science, to hold its General Assembly. With this project, the Iberdrola Group’s distributor in Spain takes a strategic step forward for the electricity distribution activity, as the promotion of flexibility is key to enabling a much more efficient use of the grids.

 

The BeFlexible project, funded by the European Commission through the Horizon Europe program, aims to empower the participation of “prosumers” in generating electricity from renewable sources and increase the flexibility of the entire electrical system. This initiative is intended to transform the European energy system, directing it toward a more sustainable and adaptable future, in line with the European Union’s commitments to combating climate change and promoting clean and renewable energy sources.

 

During the first year of the BeFlexible project, significant progress has been made in preparing and establishing the necessary procedures for its execution. BeFlexible will carry out various pilots in Italy, Sweden, Spain, and France, demonstrating the versatility of the concept in different environments, from types of consumers to geographical and climatic areas, with the aim of evaluating the impact of the proposed services, platforms, and architectures. These pilots will validate customer participation strategies and promote adoption in the market. The strategic pilots that are part of this ambitious project are in preparation and will soon begin their implementation in different European countries.

 

One of the highlights of this project is the close collaboration among the 21 partners and the 3 affiliated entities from 7 European countries that make up the consortium. The involvement and commitment of these partners, including DSOs, TSOs, aggregators, research and development centers, universities, and industrial technology providers, have been essential for the successful progress of BeFlexible.

Furthermore, BeFlexible collaborates closely with other projects funded under the same call, STREAM and ENFLATE, thus strengthening cooperation between initiatives that share similar objectives and challenges in the European Energy Transition. Both projects were presented at the BeFlexible General Assembly by their coordinators from the University of Ljubljana and Ubitech Energy.

The BeFlexible project aligns with the current climate goals of the European Union, the Fit for 55 package, as well as the Recovery Plan and actions and roadmaps implemented by the European Technology and Innovation Platform Smart Networks for Energy Transition (ETIP SNET).

Boosting engagement to increase flexibility

One of the main challenges Europe faces is the growing production of renewable energy and the need for a modern and flexible electricity market that can integrate a higher proportion of clean energy sources.

BeFlexible aims to overcome these limitations through versatile solutions that allow networks to adapt to future scenarios and promote mechanisms that benefit all players in the energy market. The BeFlexible project is based on four main blocks:

  • Market and Regulation Analysis: A flexible framework for new business opportunities will be defined.
  • Service Ecosystem: A wide range of flexibility solutions and cross-cutting services will be offered to end-users.
  • Platforms and Architectures: A Business and Network Data (GDBN) network and system architecture will be implemented to ensure complete data interoperability.
  • Customer Participation: A social co-creation approach will be adopted to meet consumer needs.

Next meeting point with stakeholders

BeFlexible is preparing for its participation in the ENLIT Europe event, one of the most relevant forums in the European energy industry. This event will take place in Paris from November 28 to 30 and will be a unique opportunity for the project to present itself to key players in the sector. At ENLIT, BeFlexible has organized a special session on November 28th titled “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?” where the speakers will address the crucial topic of energy flexibility. The project will also be present at the pavilion, engaging with attendees.

BeFlexible at ENLIT: Navigating the future of energy innovation

BEFLEXIBLE is thrilled to announce its participation in ENLIT, the dynamic forum shaping the future of the energy sector. ENLIT will take place from November 28 to 30 in Paris, France. BeFlexible invites you to join our session, in collaboration with ENFLATE and STREAM projects, on November 28 from 13:30 to 14:30. The session, titled “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?” will feature BeFlexible’s project coordinator, David Martín. Attend our session at the EU Projects Zone Hub-Theatre 1 (Hall 7.2)!

Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?

In response to the imperative to double flexibility in the EU power system by 2030, as highlighted in a recent report by ACER & EEA, our session will explore the transformative influence of three pioneering EU projects: BEFLEXIBLE, ENFLATE, and STREAM. Representatives from I-de (Iberdrola Group), UBITECH ENERGY, and the University of Ljubljana will delve into fundamental aspects of customer engagement and the evolution of services and platforms towards a fully integrated energy system. Join us in unlocking the limitless potential within the realm of flexibility, recognizing its vital role in shaping a more sustainable and adaptable future.

AGENDA

13:30 – 13:35 Welcome by the moderator, Susana Garayoa, Institutional Relations at Zabala Innovation

13:35 – 13:45 Keynote Speech

13:45 – 14:10 Panel Session: “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?”

  • David Martín, i-DE, BEFLEXIBLE Project Coordinator
  • Jan Jeriha, University of Ljubljana, STREAM Project Coordinator
  • Katerina Drivakou, ENFLATE Project Coordinator

14:10 – 14:20 Questions & Answers

14:20 – 14:30 Closing Remarks

BEFLEXIBLE Stand

Visit our dedicated stand at 7.2.C120 during the three days, where we will showcase our project, objectives, and expected results.

About ENLIT

Enlit is dedicated to fostering a transformative energy landscape in Europe by forging connections across industries, igniting proactive measures through inspiration, and steering the continent towards a decarbonized, digitalized energy system for a seamless energy transition. Covering every facet from energy source to generation and from the grid to the end consumer, Enlit stands as a dynamic, expansive forum that continuously evolves. This inclusive platform serves as a nexus, uniting established industry leaders, disruptors, startups, and enthusiastic end-users. Through collaboration, innovation, and shared inspiration, Enlit empowers the current generation and motivates the next to actively contribute to the ongoing energy transition. This in-person event brings together 12,000 attendees annually.

About our cluster projects

The synergy created by BEFLEXIBLE, STREAM, and ENFLATE as a cluster enhances our ability to address cross-cutting issues, increase our impact, and drive the transition towards a more flexible and sustainable energy system. The three project were funded by the European Commission (EC) under the topic “HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-02-06 – Increasing energy system flexibility based on sector-integration services to consumers”. This common funding source reflects our shared objective of enhancing energy system flexibility and promoting collaboration between Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

  •  The STREAM project aims to create an innovative and robust flexibility ecosystem on the low voltage grid side of existing power markets. The project recognizes the disruption caused by the continuous addition of various prosumers, aggregators, and other service providers, which has made the traditional power market structure more complex.
  • The ENFLATE project will build upon existing solutions on data-driven energy services and non-energy services, and replicate them in different geographies, climates and consumer needs. It will propose applicable consumer-centred flexibility platforms and test them in Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, engaging local consumers, as well as authorities, service providers, manufacturers and academia. Efficient business models will be developed and tested, combining energy services with health and mobility services.

More about BEFLEXIBLE

BeFlexible is committed to increasing energy system flexibility, enhancing cooperation among Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and facilitating the participation of all energy-related actors. The project is structured around four main blocks: market and regulations analysis, service ecosystem definition, platforms and architectures implementation, and customer engagement with a social co-creation approach.

BeFlexible’s versatility will be demonstrated through diverse pilots in Italy, Sweden, Spain, and France, covering a wide range of consumer energy behaviors, grid typologies, and climate conditions. The project aims to validate consumer engagement strategies, enabling appropriate interaction between all energy actors and fostering market uptake.

Join us at ENLIT as we collectively shape the future of energy innovation!

BEFLEXIBLE is thrilled to announce its participation in ENLIT, the dynamic forum shaping the future of the energy sector. ENLIT will take place from November 28 to 30 in Paris, France. BeFlexible invites you to join our session, in collaboration with ENFLATE and STREAM projects, on November 28 from 13:30 to 14:30. The session, titled “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?” will feature BeFlexible’s project coordinator, David Martín. Attend our session at the EU Projects Zone Hub-Theatre 1 (Hall 7.2)!

Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?

In response to the imperative to double flexibility in the EU power system by 2030, as highlighted in a recent report by ACER & EEA, our session will explore the transformative influence of three pioneering EU projects: BEFLEXIBLE, ENFLATE, and STREAM. Representatives from I-de (Iberdrola Group), UBITECH ENERGY, and the University of Ljubljana will delve into fundamental aspects of customer engagement and the evolution of services and platforms towards a fully integrated energy system. Join us in unlocking the limitless potential within the realm of flexibility, recognizing its vital role in shaping a more sustainable and adaptable future.

AGENDA

13:30 – 13:35 Welcome by the moderator, Susana Garayoa, Institutional Relations at Zabala Innovation

13:35 – 13:45 Keynote Speech

13:45 – 14:10 Panel Session: “Unlocking Flexibility Markets: Are Customers Ready to Embrace Innovation?”

  • David Martín, i-DE, BEFLEXIBLE Project Coordinator
  • Jan Jeriha, University of Ljubljana, STREAM Project Coordinator
  • Katerina Drivakou, ENFLATE Project Coordinator

14:10 – 14:20 Questions & Answers

14:20 – 14:30 Closing Remarks

BEFLEXIBLE Stand

Visit our dedicated stand at 7.2.C120 during the three days, where we will showcase our project, objectives, and expected results.

About ENLIT

Enlit is dedicated to fostering a transformative energy landscape in Europe by forging connections across industries, igniting proactive measures through inspiration, and steering the continent towards a decarbonized, digitalized energy system for a seamless energy transition. Covering every facet from energy source to generation and from the grid to the end consumer, Enlit stands as a dynamic, expansive forum that continuously evolves. This inclusive platform serves as a nexus, uniting established industry leaders, disruptors, startups, and enthusiastic end-users. Through collaboration, innovation, and shared inspiration, Enlit empowers the current generation and motivates the next to actively contribute to the ongoing energy transition. This in-person event brings together 12,000 attendees annually.

About our cluster projects

The synergy created by BEFLEXIBLE, STREAM, and ENFLATE as a cluster enhances our ability to address cross-cutting issues, increase our impact, and drive the transition towards a more flexible and sustainable energy system. The three project were funded by the European Commission (EC) under the topic “HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-02-06 – Increasing energy system flexibility based on sector-integration services to consumers”. This common funding source reflects our shared objective of enhancing energy system flexibility and promoting collaboration between Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

  •  The STREAM project aims to create an innovative and robust flexibility ecosystem on the low voltage grid side of existing power markets. The project recognizes the disruption caused by the continuous addition of various prosumers, aggregators, and other service providers, which has made the traditional power market structure more complex.
  • The ENFLATE project will build upon existing solutions on data-driven energy services and non-energy services, and replicate them in different geographies, climates and consumer needs. It will propose applicable consumer-centred flexibility platforms and test them in Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, engaging local consumers, as well as authorities, service providers, manufacturers and academia. Efficient business models will be developed and tested, combining energy services with health and mobility services.

More about BEFLEXIBLE

BeFlexible is committed to increasing energy system flexibility, enhancing cooperation among Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs), and facilitating the participation of all energy-related actors. The project is structured around four main blocks: market and regulations analysis, service ecosystem definition, platforms and architectures implementation, and customer engagement with a social co-creation approach.

BeFlexible’s versatility will be demonstrated through diverse pilots in Italy, Sweden, Spain, and France, covering a wide range of consumer energy behaviors, grid typologies, and climate conditions. The project aims to validate consumer engagement strategies, enabling appropriate interaction between all energy actors and fostering market uptake.

Join us at ENLIT as we collectively shape the future of energy innovation!

Webinar recording | Enticing residential consumers to become electricity flexibility providers

Are you curious about the future of energy and the role you can play in it? On October 25, 2023, at 13:00 CEST, ISGAN Virtual Learning hosted an insightful webinar featuring Carmen Valor and Valeria Karina Moreno from Comillas Pontifical University. The webinar delved into the exciting possibilities of transforming residential consumers into electricity flexibility providers.

Breaking down the barriers

Residential consumers have long been seen as passive recipients of electricity, but times are changing. Numerous studies have highlighted the challenges that homeowners face when trying to become providers of flexibility services. These obstacles have often deterred them from actively participating in the energy market.

However, recent research conducted with consumers has unearthed untapped needs that, when addressed, can unlock a world of opportunities. This is where the BeFlexible project comes into play. We propose five compelling value propositions that can persuade residential consumers to embrace their role as flexibility providers.

The webinar focused on two key messages:

  1. Flexibility Provision Creates Value for Consumers: Understand how participating in the energy market can benefit you, your home, and the planet.
  2. Five Value Propositions to Entice Consumers: Explore innovative approaches to motivate consumers to embrace their role as flexibility providers.

Recap of the event

The webinar provided valuable insights for a diverse audience, including:

  • Policy makers: Gained insights into shaping energy policies for the benefit of both consumers and the grid.
  • Senior and junior engineers: Discovered the technical aspects of consumer-centric flexibility provision.
  • ESCOs (Energy Service Companies): Explored new business opportunities in the energy market.
  • Aggregators: Learned how to harness the power of residential flexibility for operations.

This webinar was an opportunity to be at the forefront of a transformative energy landscape and it provided a retrospective view of the future of energy. The insights shared during the webinar aimed to shape the way individuals think about electricity and the evolving role of residential consumers in the energy sector.

You can find the recording of the webinar here:

 

Are you curious about the future of energy and the role you can play in it? On October 25, 2023, at 13:00 CEST, ISGAN Virtual Learning hosted an insightful webinar featuring Carmen Valor and Valeria Karina Moreno from Comillas Pontifical University. The webinar delved into the exciting possibilities of transforming residential consumers into electricity flexibility providers.

Breaking down the barriers

Residential consumers have long been seen as passive recipients of electricity, but times are changing. Numerous studies have highlighted the challenges that homeowners face when trying to become providers of flexibility services. These obstacles have often deterred them from actively participating in the energy market.

However, recent research conducted with consumers has unearthed untapped needs that, when addressed, can unlock a world of opportunities. This is where the BeFlexible project comes into play. We propose five compelling value propositions that can persuade residential consumers to embrace their role as flexibility providers.

The webinar focused on two key messages:

  1. Flexibility Provision Creates Value for Consumers: Understand how participating in the energy market can benefit you, your home, and the planet.
  2. Five Value Propositions to Entice Consumers: Explore innovative approaches to motivate consumers to embrace their role as flexibility providers.

Recap of the event

The webinar provided valuable insights for a diverse audience, including:

  • Policy makers: Gained insights into shaping energy policies for the benefit of both consumers and the grid.
  • Senior and junior engineers: Discovered the technical aspects of consumer-centric flexibility provision.
  • ESCOs (Energy Service Companies): Explored new business opportunities in the energy market.
  • Aggregators: Learned how to harness the power of residential flexibility for operations.

This webinar was an opportunity to be at the forefront of a transformative energy landscape and it provided a retrospective view of the future of energy. The insights shared during the webinar aimed to shape the way individuals think about electricity and the evolving role of residential consumers in the energy sector.

You can find the recording of the webinar here:

 

Why do small-load providers want to provide flexibility?

Article by Leonor Ruiz (Soulsight), Carmen Valor (IIT-Universidad Pontificia Comillas) and Valeria Moreno (IIT-Universidad Pontificia Comillas)

The third generation of energy customers: flexumers

The decarbonization of the energy industry demands a growing intake of renewable energy generation and integration. These energies are less carbon-intensive but have a fundamental disadvantage: they are intermittent. If the energy supply is intermittent, energy demand must be flexible: our energy consumption must adapt to the times when renewable production is greatest.

This requirement of flexibility is a fundamental shift in how consumers understand and use energy. We can speak of a third generation of energy users. The first generation was the sole consumer of energy. The second generation brought the prosumer, users who produce and consume their energy. We are witnessing the third generation of users: the flexumer, or a user that purposely adapts her energy consumption to match the grid’s needs. Flexibility provision can include actions like shifting the use of certain appliances or suspending the use of energy at a given time or allocating the self-produced energy to other users.

Although time-of-use tariffs have tried to encourage this role change, a wider use of incentive-based flexibility programs is expected in the future. In these programs, consumers provide flexibility in response to signals: the system sends an alert so that they increase (or reduce) consumption, and consumers that appropriately respond to this signal will be given in exchange some rewards.

The provision of flexibility requires that consumers willingly and actively participate in these programs. Understanding what motivates consumers to participate and the barriers that thwart their participation is essential to devise strategies to ensure consumer engagement with these programs. Consumers enter service exchanges when they anticipate achieving some form of value or gain, and this expected value compensates for the anticipated pains. In BeFlexible, we have interviewed potential consumers in three countries (France, Italy, and Spain) to understand what forms of value these consumers seek in flexibility provision. This understanding will help energy actors develop value propositions and engagement strategies to ensure their participation in flexibility programs.

Value sought in flexibility programs

Although intuitively, we may think that savings or economic value is the dominant form of value sought by users, our research showed that consumers anticipate many forms of value in flexibility provision, such as efficiency, environmental, comfort, convenience, episteme, status and social value.

Although efficiency can also produce savings, consumers seek, first and foremost, to avoid waste and make an intelligent consumption of energy. They are growingly aware that energy is impactful, and they try to prevent leaks or optimise energy use with their home appliances. Integrated management of energy that can make the most of their produced or consumed energy is a form of value that motivates them to participate in flexibility programs.

Related to this, environmental value is a crucial type of value sought by consumers. Reducing emissions and using energy with a lesser environmental footprint is an essential motive for participating in these programs. Moreover, some consumers report being self-sufficient and not reliant on traditional energy operators as a fundamental benefit sought.

Comfort is a form of experiential value mentioned by almost all users. Heating and cooling are two uses of energy that enable their perceived comfort. This form of value is so important for consumers that they are not willing to trade it off for participating in energy flexibility activities or changing habits. Ensuring comfort and control over comfort is necessary to entice participation in flexibility programs. Comfort goes beyond a hedonic perception, as for many consumers, it is a symbol of caring practices: a comfort temperature is instrumental to ensuring the health and safety of the family. Comfort is related to this notion of intelligent consumption: for some consumers, it is high time to rethink our comfort standards and lower comfort temperatures: “We don’t have to be in T-shirts in Winter”, said one of the informants.

Convenience emerges as another form of value that consumers are not willing to compromise: their provision of flexibility cannot entail stress or uncertainty. Anticipation of future negative emotions is one of the main barriers to participating in flexibility programs.

Another potential form of value associated with flexibility provision is episteme value. This reflects the value related to learning about energy and energy consumption. By participating in flexibility programs, consumers can understand how energy markets work, how they can optimise their consumption by shifting times of appliance use or how they can use appliances and devices smartly. Acquiring this knowledge is a motivation to participate in these programs despite the difficulties anticipated in acquiring this knowledge.

Gaining status or being admired by others is another form of value that motivates participation in flexibility programs. Involvement in some flexibility programs requires that users possess electrical assets such as Electric Vehicles or solar panels. The investment necessary explains why users with these assets are regarded as high-status users. Also, being an example for others in the energy transition or being an early adopter mobilises pride in users and admiration in others. These anticipated emotions are also a form of value leading to a greater willingness to participate.

Finally, consumers report that creating social value is an essential motive for participation. Social value is created when users feel they are part of something bigger than themselves; this generally occurs by improving the welfare of their communities or by making them more resilient and self-sufficient. Although community can be defined differently (my condominium, my neighbourhood or my town), improving livelihoods directs participation in flexibility programs.

Concluding remarks

Understanding the manifold forms of value consumers anticipate in flexibility programs will allow energy actors to devise compelling value propositions aligned with consumers’ expectations. They can also be used for segmentation and clustering as consumers differ in the importance attached to each form of value. Our work provides valuable insights for business model development, product/service definition and engagement strategy proposals.

This article summarizes key takeaways from Deliverable 2.1, titled “Value Propositions for Market Actors.” To access the complete document, please click here.

 

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Article by Leonor Ruiz (Soulsight), Carmen Valor (IIT-Universidad Pontificia Comillas) and Valeria Moreno (IIT-Universidad Pontificia Comillas)

The third generation of energy customers: flexumers

The decarbonization of the energy industry demands a growing intake of renewable energy generation and integration. These energies are less carbon-intensive but have a fundamental disadvantage: they are intermittent. If the energy supply is intermittent, energy demand must be flexible: our energy consumption must adapt to the times when renewable production is greatest.

This requirement of flexibility is a fundamental shift in how consumers understand and use energy. We can speak of a third generation of energy users. The first generation was the sole consumer of energy. The second generation brought the prosumer, users who produce and consume their energy. We are witnessing the third generation of users: the flexumer, or a user that purposely adapts her energy consumption to match the grid’s needs. Flexibility provision can include actions like shifting the use of certain appliances or suspending the use of energy at a given time or allocating the self-produced energy to other users.

Although time-of-use tariffs have tried to encourage this role change, a wider use of incentive-based flexibility programs is expected in the future. In these programs, consumers provide flexibility in response to signals: the system sends an alert so that they increase (or reduce) consumption, and consumers that appropriately respond to this signal will be given in exchange some rewards.

The provision of flexibility requires that consumers willingly and actively participate in these programs. Understanding what motivates consumers to participate and the barriers that thwart their participation is essential to devise strategies to ensure consumer engagement with these programs. Consumers enter service exchanges when they anticipate achieving some form of value or gain, and this expected value compensates for the anticipated pains. In BeFlexible, we have interviewed potential consumers in three countries (France, Italy, and Spain) to understand what forms of value these consumers seek in flexibility provision. This understanding will help energy actors develop value propositions and engagement strategies to ensure their participation in flexibility programs.

Value sought in flexibility programs

Although intuitively, we may think that savings or economic value is the dominant form of value sought by users, our research showed that consumers anticipate many forms of value in flexibility provision, such as efficiency, environmental, comfort, convenience, episteme, status and social value.

Although efficiency can also produce savings, consumers seek, first and foremost, to avoid waste and make an intelligent consumption of energy. They are growingly aware that energy is impactful, and they try to prevent leaks or optimise energy use with their home appliances. Integrated management of energy that can make the most of their produced or consumed energy is a form of value that motivates them to participate in flexibility programs.

Related to this, environmental value is a crucial type of value sought by consumers. Reducing emissions and using energy with a lesser environmental footprint is an essential motive for participating in these programs. Moreover, some consumers report being self-sufficient and not reliant on traditional energy operators as a fundamental benefit sought.

Comfort is a form of experiential value mentioned by almost all users. Heating and cooling are two uses of energy that enable their perceived comfort. This form of value is so important for consumers that they are not willing to trade it off for participating in energy flexibility activities or changing habits. Ensuring comfort and control over comfort is necessary to entice participation in flexibility programs. Comfort goes beyond a hedonic perception, as for many consumers, it is a symbol of caring practices: a comfort temperature is instrumental to ensuring the health and safety of the family. Comfort is related to this notion of intelligent consumption: for some consumers, it is high time to rethink our comfort standards and lower comfort temperatures: “We don’t have to be in T-shirts in Winter”, said one of the informants.

Convenience emerges as another form of value that consumers are not willing to compromise: their provision of flexibility cannot entail stress or uncertainty. Anticipation of future negative emotions is one of the main barriers to participating in flexibility programs.

Another potential form of value associated with flexibility provision is episteme value. This reflects the value related to learning about energy and energy consumption. By participating in flexibility programs, consumers can understand how energy markets work, how they can optimise their consumption by shifting times of appliance use or how they can use appliances and devices smartly. Acquiring this knowledge is a motivation to participate in these programs despite the difficulties anticipated in acquiring this knowledge.

Gaining status or being admired by others is another form of value that motivates participation in flexibility programs. Involvement in some flexibility programs requires that users possess electrical assets such as Electric Vehicles or solar panels. The investment necessary explains why users with these assets are regarded as high-status users. Also, being an example for others in the energy transition or being an early adopter mobilises pride in users and admiration in others. These anticipated emotions are also a form of value leading to a greater willingness to participate.

Finally, consumers report that creating social value is an essential motive for participation. Social value is created when users feel they are part of something bigger than themselves; this generally occurs by improving the welfare of their communities or by making them more resilient and self-sufficient. Although community can be defined differently (my condominium, my neighbourhood or my town), improving livelihoods directs participation in flexibility programs.

Concluding remarks

Understanding the manifold forms of value consumers anticipate in flexibility programs will allow energy actors to devise compelling value propositions aligned with consumers’ expectations. They can also be used for segmentation and clustering as consumers differ in the importance attached to each form of value. Our work provides valuable insights for business model development, product/service definition and engagement strategy proposals.

This article summarizes key takeaways from Deliverable 2.1, titled “Value Propositions for Market Actors.” To access the complete document, please click here.

 

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

BeFlexible, Stream, and Enflate: Shaping the future of energy together

Collaboration, innovation, and synergy for enhanced energy system flexibility

We are thrilled to introduce STREAM and ENFLATE as sibling projects of BEFLEXIBLE, funded by the European Commission (EC) under the topic “HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-02-06 – Increasing energy system flexibility based on sector-integration services to consumers”. This common funding source reflects our shared objective of enhancing energy system flexibility and promoting collaboration between Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

Collaboration and knowledge-sharing for common goals

BEFLEXIBLE is commited to increasing energy system flexibility, enhancing cooperation among DSOs and with TSOs and easing participation of all energy-related actors. To this end, it will work in four main areas: Markets and Regulation,Services Ecosystem, Platforms & Architecture and Customer engagement and social co-creation.

The synergy created by BEFLEXIBLE, STREAM, and ENFLATE as sibling projects enhances our ability to address cross-cutting issues, increase our impact, and drive the transition towards a more flexible and sustainable energy system. Together, we are united in our commitment to pushing the boundaries of energy innovation and delivering tangible benefits to consumers, DSOs, and TSOs.

Through joint efforts, we will not only achieve our individual project objectives but also contribute to the broader vision of creating a more flexible, consumer-centric, and sustainable energy system. By joining forces with these projects, we aim to foster collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and innovation in the energy sector.

Stream: Streaming flexibility to the power system

The STREAM project aims to create an innovative and robust flexibility ecosystem on the low voltage grid side of existing power markets. The project recognizes the disruption caused by the continuous addition of various prosumers, aggregators, and other service providers, which has made the traditional power market structure more complex.

STREAM project is coordinated by the University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Laboratory of Energy policy), and involves 20 partners from 6 different EU countries. It started on the 1st of October 2022 and will run for 48 months.

In the scope of the project, 6 different tools in 4 pilot sites will be demonstrated and will cover the geographical, economic, size and type of diversity of the customers. The pilot sites are located in Crevillent (Spain), Terni (Italy), City (Finland) and Ajdovščina (Slovenia).

Enflate: Enabling flexibility provision by all actors and sectors through markets and digital technologies

The ENFLATE project will build upon existing solutions on data-driven energy services and non-energy services, and replicate them in different geographies, climates and consumer needs. It will propose applicable consumer-centred flexibility platforms and test them in Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, engaging local consumers, as well as authorities, service providers, manufacturers and academia. Efficient business models will be developed and tested, combining energy services with health and mobility services.

ENFLATE is led by NOVA and UBITECH ENERGY, was launched in 1 September 2022 and will run until 31 August 2026.

ENFLATE will carry out pilots in demo sites in five dispersed European countries adapting to the local energy requirements. The tools will be tested in 6 demonstration campaigns across Europe: Skiathos (Greece), Lachar (Spain), Kungsbacka (Sweden), Dragalevtsi (Bulgaria), Appenzell (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland).

BRIDGE Initiative: Enhancing collaboration and knowledge-sharing

By participating in the BRIDGE initiative, which brings these projects together, we will further enhance our collaboration and knowledge-sharing efforts. This initiative provides a platform for us to engage with other projects and contribute to the overall advancement of the energy sector. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and make significant strides towards a more sustainable and efficient energy system.

Driving progress for a sustainable energy system

Through these collaborations, BeFlexible, Stream, and Enflate will collectively drive progress towards a more sustainable and efficient energy system. Our shared knowledge, expertise, and commitment to innovation will pave the way for cutting-edge solutions and business models in the energy sector. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to achieving our common goals of creating a flexible, consumer-centric, and sustainable energy future.

Stay tuned for updates on our collaborative endeavours with Stream and Enflate as we work together to shape the future of energy.

You can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Collaboration, innovation, and synergy for enhanced energy system flexibility

We are thrilled to introduce STREAM and ENFLATE as sibling projects of BEFLEXIBLE, funded by the European Commission (EC) under the topic “HORIZON-CL5-2021-D3-02-06 – Increasing energy system flexibility based on sector-integration services to consumers”. This common funding source reflects our shared objective of enhancing energy system flexibility and promoting collaboration between Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs).

Collaboration and knowledge-sharing for common goals

BEFLEXIBLE is commited to increasing energy system flexibility, enhancing cooperation among DSOs and with TSOs and easing participation of all energy-related actors. To this end, it will work in four main areas: Markets and Regulation,Services Ecosystem, Platforms & Architecture and Customer engagement and social co-creation.

The synergy created by BEFLEXIBLE, STREAM, and ENFLATE as sibling projects enhances our ability to address cross-cutting issues, increase our impact, and drive the transition towards a more flexible and sustainable energy system. Together, we are united in our commitment to pushing the boundaries of energy innovation and delivering tangible benefits to consumers, DSOs, and TSOs.

Through joint efforts, we will not only achieve our individual project objectives but also contribute to the broader vision of creating a more flexible, consumer-centric, and sustainable energy system. By joining forces with these projects, we aim to foster collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and innovation in the energy sector.

Stream: Streaming flexibility to the power system

The STREAM project aims to create an innovative and robust flexibility ecosystem on the low voltage grid side of existing power markets. The project recognizes the disruption caused by the continuous addition of various prosumers, aggregators, and other service providers, which has made the traditional power market structure more complex.

STREAM project is coordinated by the University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Laboratory of Energy policy), and involves 20 partners from 6 different EU countries. It started on the 1st of October 2022 and will run for 48 months.

In the scope of the project, 6 different tools in 4 pilot sites will be demonstrated and will cover the geographical, economic, size and type of diversity of the customers. The pilot sites are located in Crevillent (Spain), Terni (Italy), City (Finland) and Ajdovščina (Slovenia).

Enflate: Enabling flexibility provision by all actors and sectors through markets and digital technologies

The ENFLATE project will build upon existing solutions on data-driven energy services and non-energy services, and replicate them in different geographies, climates and consumer needs. It will propose applicable consumer-centred flexibility platforms and test them in Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, engaging local consumers, as well as authorities, service providers, manufacturers and academia. Efficient business models will be developed and tested, combining energy services with health and mobility services.

ENFLATE is led by NOVA and UBITECH ENERGY, was launched in 1 September 2022 and will run until 31 August 2026.

ENFLATE will carry out pilots in demo sites in five dispersed European countries adapting to the local energy requirements. The tools will be tested in 6 demonstration campaigns across Europe: Skiathos (Greece), Lachar (Spain), Kungsbacka (Sweden), Dragalevtsi (Bulgaria), Appenzell (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland).

BRIDGE Initiative: Enhancing collaboration and knowledge-sharing

By participating in the BRIDGE initiative, which brings these projects together, we will further enhance our collaboration and knowledge-sharing efforts. This initiative provides a platform for us to engage with other projects and contribute to the overall advancement of the energy sector. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of innovation and make significant strides towards a more sustainable and efficient energy system.

Driving progress for a sustainable energy system

Through these collaborations, BeFlexible, Stream, and Enflate will collectively drive progress towards a more sustainable and efficient energy system. Our shared knowledge, expertise, and commitment to innovation will pave the way for cutting-edge solutions and business models in the energy sector. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to achieving our common goals of creating a flexible, consumer-centric, and sustainable energy future.

Stay tuned for updates on our collaborative endeavours with Stream and Enflate as we work together to shape the future of energy.

You can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn!

The way towards BeFlexible: I-DEs role

Article by Fernando David Martín Utrilla, BeFlexible project coordinator from i-DE (Iberdrola Group)

The use of flexibility for electricity networks is currently of utmost relevance in the European energy agenda. In BeFlexible project we are aware of the importance of unlocking the potential flexibility of the distributed energy resources to provide value for DSOs and  customers.

High-level European Commission policies like the European Green Deal, Fitfor55 and the most recent REPowerEU stress the need to develop efficient mechanisms to deploy a more flexible use of energy across Europe, and particularly in electricity networks.

European policies and the call for a more flexible energy use

It is clear that the energy transition does not need innovation as usual. It is not about implementing a new technology that brings advantages for the system, but about carrying out a big transformation in  grid operation and planning processes. i-DE, Iberdola Spanish distribution company, have made a long journey to be able to assess the scalability and the feasibility of the flexibility solutions and the transformations that are needed.

So far, i-DE projects experience has brought us to a better position to understand what may come, and to help to propose regulatory needs. In the technological context, many barriers were already tackled. But in the regulatory context, we started from scratch.

In this journey, we needed to explore firstly all possible scenarios to see how this transformation could affect our processes, share experiences with other countries and keep the alignment with Europe.

That is the vision with which we faced the CoordiNet project. In this project, which ended in 2022, TSO/DSO coordination was successfully addressed. It considered different coordination schemes, the concerns of both operators and the necessary exchanges of information between them.

However, local flexibility markets for medium and low voltage networks, which are also important for us (DSOs) needed further study.

Advancing local flexibility markets

For this reason, then, in the OneNet project, that concludes at the end of this year, the approach of the Pilot was focused on the local market in the Spanish demo. The wholesale market operator is participating with us and a prototype for the local market has been developed very much in line with what was developed in the United Kingdom in terms of flexibility products for the short and long term congestion management needs.

Even all this we are testing has a basis in the needs of the networks, we cannot forget that at the center of everything is the customer.

And that is exactly the BeFlexible project approach. It is a four-year project that we started a few months ago, in September 2022.

BeFlexible’s Kick Off Meeting in September 2022

Putting customers at the center: BeFlexible project’s approach to incentivizing flexible solutions

The incentives for the consumers and generators are the key to the success of flexible solutions. And these incentives must be based on how solution implementation affect them.

That is why in BeFlexible we have moved the focus to what is on the other side of the markets. We are working on finding a way to have liquidity in the flexibility markets based on New Regulation, on Platforms, on Customer strategies and on the Services Ecosystem (both for system operators and for customers).

The new regulation has to define very clearly the roles of all the actors involved. Not only the new responsibilities of DSO as system operator of the distribution network, but also the responsibilities of the aggregators, flexibility providers, and other new roles that emerge such as energy communities, charging point operators, generators, suppliers, etc.

Building a regulatory framework, platforms, and service ecosystem for flexible solutions

Regarding Platforms, a proper information exchange among system operators, flexibility providers and aggregators is necessary. A grid data and business network platform (GDBN) will be developed to facilitate an adequate exchange of information for the whole value chain.

Our objective is also to ensure that there is a relevant offer to each market actor to be involved into a flexibility solution with the definition of meaningful easier-to adopt value propositions on which business models can be based. A plan to engage customers from the beginning has been defined, considering the recruiting, onboarding and servicing challenges with the proposition of customer engagement strategies.

And last but not least, the definition and adaptation of a service ecosystem offering a broad portfolio of flexibility and cross-sector solutions for end-users will be carried out.

Hopefully, we will be able to reach the end of the project with a much certain scenario on the applicability and usefulness of flexibility services, since with this new approach the needs and expectations of all actors involved are being addressed. With the development of regulatory sandboxes in parallel with the BeFlexible project we will be able to finish designing the new scenario of the flexible network required by the energy transition and European regulation.

 

Stay tuned about BeFlexible by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter!