Flexibility market platforms offer integrated solutions for purchasing and selling electricity produced by flexibility assets. Flexibility market platforms further enable system operators to access local, aggregated flexibility from local small- and large-scale demand, storage and generation. Both flexibility from demand, generation and storage is offered on these platforms, and services include congestion management, adequacy and frequency balancing. Voltage control can be offered more long-term (see separate solution). All pre- qualified actors can place bids to buy or sell flexibility. All bids contain a location tag and are traded on an internet-based platform.
Components & enablers
- Regulatory: Different barriers in different countries
- Overall: increasing market access, defining the role of aggregators (see separate solutions)
- Smart meters and data exchange: Developing an effective platform + IT security
- Local forecasting of congestions
- Ability to verify physical delivery
- A liquid market is necessary to ensure real competition. Otherwise, price cap necessary
- Measures to avoid undesired market behaviour
- Role of TSO/DSO (coordination)
State of the art in application and research
Currently, access to day-ahead, intraday and balancing markets is typically limited to larger agents, and, particularly, do not include aggregated small-scale loads. Therefore, any new market structure which enables access to new participants, such as small-scale loads, valorise flexibility and lower the barriers to entry. This will increase the flexibility resources accessible.
NODES has gone commercial in early 2019, but is not implemented full-scale yet. It's part of a wide range of demonstrations in both Norway and Germany. Results from pilots run on the NODES platform show that flexibility platforms which enable access to local flexibility are, in general, feasible. Local flexibility is an effective and cheap alternative to traditional curtailing of renewable generation. However, regulatory challenges stand in the way of full-scale deployment.
Enera (German platform for congestion management) saw its first trade in February 2019. All system operators have used the market, all technologies have been traded and all flexibility providers have undertaken trades, showing that the processes work.
GOPACS and the ETPA market platform are currently commercially active and running on a national level in the Netherlands. GOPACS is a platform for congestion management, while ETPA is an intraday trading platform. Intraday bids with a geo-tag are considered when a congestion management request from TSO/DSO is fed in into the GOPACS platform. It is also possible for other market platforms to connect with GOPACS.
Technology Readiness Level
Congestion management: TRL 9 – implementation:
ETPA is in commercial use and is implemented for congestion management. It operates in addition to existing markets. GOPACS is used to coordinate flexibility purchases between TSO/DSO.
Congestion management: TRL 7 – demonstration:
NODES demonstrates congestion management in a wide range of pilots.
Integrated markets: TRL 5 – development:
Balancing markets exist in many countries. Inclusion of frequency balancing and adequacy in integrated market platforms with new flexibility sources is currently being developed.
Current focus of R&D and research gaps
The main focus of ongoing R&D is congestion management. Can such a market-based approach reduce the costs for congestion management? Can a sufficient number of providers be found to make such a flexibility market work in the long run, and can the designed solution serve as a coordination mechanism between transmission and distribution system operators, to efficiently access flexibilities?
Projects vary across regions and countries due to differences in the regulatory framework, power exchanges, balancing markets, etc. Therefore, state of the art solutions are not necessarily directly applicable in other regions and countries. Some projects, such as NODES, claim to be independent of country-specific characteristics. Others, such as Flexitranstore and CROSSBOW have pan-European ambitions, aiming to provide one common flexibility market platform for a common European electricity market. Some flexibility market platforms contain matching algorithms that can balance between congested areas (as well as optimise for system operators), e.g. GOPACS. Piclo Flex is a software platform already active, which presents an independent market place for trading flexibility online.
 NODES. [Link]
 C/sells. [Link]
 Nobel grid. [Link]
 Norflex (NODES). [Link]
 Dynamo. [Link]
 GoFLEX. [Link]
 Flexitranstore (demo 5). [Link]
 Piclo Flex. [Link]
 Futureflow. [Link]
 TSO PROJECTS:
- REE: Flexibility resource participation to AS (Spain)
- Source: TSO-DSO mapping (by ENTSO)