October 15, 2023

WG9 presentation at the Austrian Technology Platform on Smart Grids

On 09.10.2023 the autumn meeting of the Technology Platform Smart Grid Austria took place in Vienna with the members and hosts of Austrian Power Grid AG and Beckhoff Automation. The meeting focused on artificial intelligence and cyber security in the power grid and smart grid. As part of the presentation of ISGAN activities by Helfried Brunner, Sarah Fanta presented content and results from Working Group 9.

The Technology Platform Smart Grids Austria is an association of relevant stakeholders in the field of electrical power supply. The Platform was founded in 2008 with the support of the Climate and Energy Fund, the Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Ministry of Economy and since then the FEEI – association of electrical and electronic industries and Oesterreichs Energie support as host organizations.

The aim of the Platform is to pool joint forces for future intelligent electricity grids in order to support an energy- and cost- efficient system operation.

Synergies through coordination of stakeholders from industry, energy sector, research and public bodies should be used efficiently.

Austrian expertise in smart grids ise strengthened by flagship projects and made visible internationally.

You can find here more information on the platform.

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May 22, 2023

Possible Design Elements of Consumer Support Schemes

The very high prices that have been observed in electricity markets since September 2021 and exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine have sparked the adoption of different types of support schemes across Europe. This brief fact sheet describes possible design elements to consider for support schemes aimed at final electricity customers. The fact sheet is purely descriptive and not prescriptive.

State of play

In 2021 and 2022 extraordinarily high prices have been observed in electricity markets across Europe. The main reason behind the high electricity prices is the high price of natural gas, which is used to generate electricity. Natural gas-fired power plants are often needed to satisfy the demand for electricity when the demand is at its highest or when the volumes of electricity generated from other technologies such as nuclear, hydro, or variable renewable energy sources do not suffice to cover demand. Hence, natural gas is often said to be the price-setting technology in the European electricity system. Demand for natural gas and electricity increased as economies opened up after the pandemic lockdowns but also due to the 2022 high summer temperatures and the resulting increased cooling demand in parts of Europe. At the same time electricity generation from certain technologies, e.g., nuclear, has been below historical levels due to technical and weather-dependent circumstances. The Russian invasion of Ukraine added a supply shock that further exacerbated the constraints and pushed prices up.

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May 18, 2023

Methods for Customer Dialogue

Customers stand as an important part of the energy transition. For several actors that interact with the energy market, it is important to understand the customers’ perspectives and driving forces. National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) as well as market actors benefit from increased customer knowledge. In this fact sheet, the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate (Ei) summarizes several methods for customer dialogue which can be used by NRAs and other actors to compile and make use of customer perspectives.

The importance of customer dialogue

All actors are needed in the transition of the energy system, not least the end-users, also referred to as the customers. This group may for example provide their demand-side flexibility. However, the incentives today can be seen as being too weak and the barriers to participate with flexibility too high.

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March 17, 2023

Characterization of the Electric Energy System in view of Flexibility Usage – Technical Report

In the framework of the IEA TCP International Smart Grids Action Network (ISGAN), Working Group 9 aims at identifying challenges and opportunities of flexibility markets related to operational planning. Therefore, this report presents a comprehensive review of the current electricity systems of Austria, Canada, India, and Korea.

A survey has been conducted that aims at laying the basis for a common understanding of international market designs and different flexibility services that are currently in use. To capture the whole picture, the topic of market design was split into three subtopics, covering general market design, flexibility market design, and flexibility services for system operators. Each of these topics is made accessible by several questions that have been answered by the respective countries, enabling the Working Group to understand presently used market designs and flexibility services. We find that the design of electricity markets differs significantly between European and non-European countries, thus presenting a wide range of challenges to the countries in question. Consequently, there are no general-purpose solutions for the successful implementation of flexibility markets related to operational planning. However, several common issues were identified and will be investigated in the further course of the work of Working Group 9 through stakeholder interviews from participating countries.

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March 30, 2022

Data-sharing standards and protocols: UK Insights

In the power sector, data is key to unlocking flexibility, bringing system and consumer benefits and managing the transition to a low carbon economy. This factsheet draws on UK experience to present insights into different attributes of data and its role as an enabler to facilitate interoperable flexibility markets.


This paper draws on the work carried out in the UK by the Energy Data Taskforce and how its recommendations pertain to and align with flexibility service provisions and market developments in the UK. Insights from relevant energy
stakeholders (networks, industry/innovation and academia) have also been incorporated.

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March 29, 2022

TSO-DSO Coordination: the UK case

With increasing requirements for flexibility in electricity girds, coordination between operators of the transmission and distribution networks becomes increasingly crucial. This paper attempts to to capture the views and insights from experts within the UK on this topic and the UK experience.


There are many developments around flexibility within the energy system, particularly around electricity network reinforcement avoidance and trading platforms. However, there are also significant gaps in this area that could hinder the participation of innovators in the flexibility markets and, at the same time, limit the procurement process for network companies. This insight paper attempts to capture the views and insights from experts within the UK and draw out the key takeaways.

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January 29, 2022

Scoping study for ISGAN Working Group 9

This paper summarises the results of a study conducted at the inception of ISGAN Work Group 9. It seeks to identify gaps in research on flexibility issues, to provide a focus for Working Group 9.


Many developments are taking place around flexibility within energy system(s), particularly around electricity network reinforcement avoidance and trading platforms. However, the scoping study hypothesis was that there are also significant gaps in research. As such, the study conducted a literature review to confirm areas that are being considered and concurrently surveyed ISGAN member countries to gather additional thoughts and concerns.

Conclusions were that there are areas that still need to be addressed, namely:

  1. Integration of trading with dispatch
  2. Understanding of multiple actors’, requirements (including where those requirements are conflicting) for flexibility and the commercial implications
  3. A need to identify the characteristics that different flexibility options provides and how to access them
  4. Interoperable markets to support the development and usage of flexible products and services at scale
  5. Consumer focused flexibility
  6. Avoiding stability/security of supply issues through loss of diversity

This report summarises the findings of the literature study and the survey, and explains the thought leadership, to date, in the areas described as gaps above.


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November 29, 2021

Consumer Focussed Flexibility Factsheets

Accessing and optimising demand side flexibility involves understanding and engaging with consumers. Working Group 9 has produced 3 factsheets on this space in Sweden, looking at: (i) metering as an enable for flexibility; (ii) the implementation of independent aggregators; and (iii) dynamic electricity pricing.


The first factsheet presents some insights into metering as an enabler for consumer-focused flexibility, and gives a brief overview of the two generations of smart meter roll-outs in Sweden, as well as the national regulation of minimum functional requirements for electricity meters.

In spring 2021, the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate submitted a report to the Government with recommendations on how to facilitate the concept of independent aggregators in Swedish legislation. The second factsheet aims to summarise the main analysis and recommendations of the report.

The third factsheet presents some insights into price signals and consumer flexibility, and gives a brief overview of the characteristics of dynamic electricity pricing, as well as some food for thought going forward.

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