Flexibility Markets

Working Group 9 (WG9) addresses all aspects of market design for power system flexibility. This includes the whole range of market timescales, from long term investment signals to second-to-second balancing and response. It also extends to cover the whole physical system from large centralised generation to behind the meter sources of flexibility within domestic settings and interfaces. WG9 considers all sources of value that flexibility conceivably could capture, going beyond MWh to include physical grid characteristics like voltage control, repeatability, inertia, locational constraint alleviation, in addition to various aspects of the market that goes beyond the trading rules such as consumer support, or how obligations (such as with respect to grid stability) are understood and checked.


The objective of the combined impact of the Working Group’s activities will be:

  1. To enrich and disseminate participant’s understanding of flexibility market design
  2. To create and curate an evidence base all can draw upon to support decision making in the flexibility market space
  3. To further the debate on best practice in market design


Working Group 9 Tasks

After discussion with interested countries, the following were identified as tasks / activities for Working Group 9 for 2023-2024. 

Task 1: End-Use Flexibility Characterisation and Grid Utilisation

Lead: Canada

Current implementations of flexible loads largely focus on capturing that from large industrial systems for application to basic transmission-level services (such as those associated with capacity, congestion, and reserves); however, there is interest in widening its potential. This task aims to i) broaden understanding of what flexibility means from an end load, including storage, perspective and ii) examine its possible application to a wide range of grid services/needs, for today and in the future.


Task 2: Interoperability

Lead: UK

As governments around the world accelerate efforts to decarbonise their energy systems through the deployment of more decentralised, intermittent renewable energy sources, the provision of flexibility is becoming more and more critical in ensuring system security. The establishment of flexibility markets that appropriately recognise and reward flexibility is crucial to encouraging investment in flexible technologies and the adoption of more flexible consumer behaviours.

The aim of the Interoperability Task is to increase understanding of the processes, systems, actors and activities required to facilitate the synergistic integration of different flexibility markets (and associated products and technologies) and the steps necessary to integrate these interoperable markets with the wider future smart energy system.


Task 3: Operational and Long-term Planning

Lead: Austria; Co-Lead: India

Task 3’s aim is to answer the question how system planners and aggregators can adapt their strategies with the increasing flexibility potential from end-consumers, and how they can take advantage of local flexibility markets.

Task 3’s work started in the last POW period (under Task 4 in POW 2022) with discussions among international partners on barriers and challenges. Since the design of electricity markets and flexibility usage varies widely among partners, a country survey was conducted. Based on the outcomes of the survey, questionnaires for individual stakeholders were designed and carried out in the last POW period. This work shall be continued in the upcoming POW period, which includes the summary of interviews as well as the thorough analysis of the planning processes from an individual stakeholders’ perspective (e.g., DSOs, aggregators, TSOs). From there, it will continue with highlighting possible challenges and opportunities arising from the use of flexibility in the planning processes of the stakeholder groups. Further aspects that will be considered are security and data protection, measurements and validation, resource coordination, interoperability, and standards and liability. 


Published documents from Working Group 9 are found here:


Working Group Manager
Technical Lead


Charmalee Jayamaha

Energy Systems Catapult

Sarah Butler

UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

United Kingdom

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