Stakeholder Opinions on Flexibility Usage in Electric Energy Systems - Technical Report

The global energy landscape is in the midst of a profound shift towards flexibility markets and distributed solutions, necessitating a nuanced understanding of their impact on operational planning. This research, conducted under the International Smart Grid Action Network's Working Group 9, delves into the intricacies of flexibility within the Austrian, Canadian, and Korean electricity systems. Leveraging prior research, the collaborative effort sets the stage for a comprehensive exploration of flexibility markets across diverse regions.

Employing a multi-faceted methodology, the work was initiated with a thorough review of electricity systems in the participating countries. Based on this review, a targeted stakeholder questionnaire, complemented by in-depth interviews with system operators, aggregators, and consumer associations, facilitated not only insights extraction but also a comparative synthesis of stakeholder views.
It can be acknowledged that barriers to distributed flexibility use range from technical constraints to regulatory hurdles, highlighting the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework. Smart meters, while ubiquitous, still face technical challenges and regulatory barriers impede Distribution System Operators (DSOs) from accessing flexibility resources, necessitating further clarification.
Globally, a consensus emerges on the imperative for refined regulatory frameworks and clarified roles. Challenges persist in technology and infrastructure for measurement and verification, hindering seamless flexibility integration. It could be demonstrated that flexibility potential as a network reinforcement tool faces unpredictability, mitigated by advancements in predictability and regulatory evolution. European perspectives underscore grid topology’s significance in leveraging local flexibilities.
Distinct business models surface across regions, with Austrian Flexibility Service Providers focusing on ancillary services, short-term markets, and Virtual Power Plant (VPP) solutions. Persistent customer engagement challenges highlight the need for education and financial incentives.
In conclusion, the diverse designs of global electricity markets necessitate tailored approaches for the successful implementation of flexibility markets in operational planning. Regulatory clarity and continuous stakeholder engagement emerge as pivotal factors in navigating this evolving energy landscape.

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