New market model enables trade in flexible energy use

A consortium of seven Dutch energy market players presented the Universal Smart Energy Framework (USEF) during the European Utility Week in Vienna. USEF describes a new market model enabling trade in flexible energy use and helping all participants in the energy system to benefit from flexible production, storage and use of energy. USEF aims to be the international de facto standard for smart energy systems. A standard badly needed to accelerate the many initiatives and connect the various market players.

Buying and selling energy flexibility: everyone benefits
Currently, only major industrial users and power plants are involved in preventing congestion in the distribution system and in correcting the imbalance between demand and supply. With the increasing demand for energy and increased supplies of energy from sustainable sources (which is less predictable), more flexibility is required to maintain reliability at the lowest possible cost. Thanks to USEF, beside the traditional energy market of demand and supply, a market for the better distribution of demand and supply can arise, that includes consumers as well.

“With a clear vision, detailed specifications and the first active pilot projects in the market, USEF offers European market players and policy makers a concrete solution for an integrated flexibility market,” says Jeroen Bode, Director of the USEF Foundation. “USEF brings together energy consumers, suppliers and grid operators and enables them to buy and sell flexibility through a flexibility market. The consumer provides flexibility allowing them to reduce their energy bills. With this flexibility, the supplier can take full advantage of the supply of sustainable energy and the grid operator can avoid investments in grid expansion. Everyone benefits.”

Central consumer
In the documents presented today, USEF describes the flexibility market with its underlying processes, roles and responsibilities in detail. A central role is set aside for the (small) corporate and private energy consumer, as the most important supplier of flexibility. Since the market demands increased flexibility and the trade in flexibility is intensive and complex, USEF introduces a new market role: the USEF Aggregator. This role combines the small amounts of flexibility from consumers, offers this in its entirety to suppliers and grid operators and ensures transparent charges

USEF describes the entire energy system and, in its methodology, builds on the processes as they currently apply in most European markets. USEF hereby connects the traditional market and the flexibility market, locally and internationally. The universal framework stands for a unified standard, a ‘motherboard’ with an open IT architecture, whereby existing projects can be connected and enabling the acceleration of innovations in the field of smart energy.