For more security of supply in the international energy market, the research project “Digital Solutions for the Interoperability of Flexibility Platforms (DigIPlat)” by the Ulm University of Applied Sciences (THU) together with partner institutions from the DACH region is developing basic principles for the interaction of transnational energy platforms.
The energy transition aims to make Europe carbon neutral by the middle of the century. This is accompanied not only by a further expansion of power generation from renewable sources, but also by the decentralization of energy resources and the coupling of different sectors of the energy system. The integration of market participants offering flexible capacity for generation, storage and load shifting requires scalable digital flexibility platforms. However, standards for such platforms, interoperability, and specifications of flexibility requirements have yet to be defined. These are the questions addressed by the research project “Digital Solutions for Interoperability of Flexibility Platforms (DigIPlat)”, which is receiving funding from the three participating countries and from the European Union as part of the “Horizon 2020” research and innovation program until April 2025.
The project is coordinated by the Technical University of Ulm (THU) with the following partner institutions from the Germany/Austria/Switzerland (DACH) region: the electricity transmission system operators Transnet BW and Austrian Power Grid AG (APG), the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Fichtner IT Consulting, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), and the Institute for Operations Research and Computational Finance (ior/cf-HSG) at the University of St. Gallen.
The main objective of the DigIPlat research project is to identify measures for the implementation, adaptation and knowledge transfer of standardized digital solutions for the interaction of transnational flexibility markets.
Building on this, an international platform is to be developed on which the transnational flexibility markets can cooperate in order to continue to maintain the secure supply of electricity at a high level internationally. The project will therefore define a standardized framework and technically evaluate currently existing flexibility platforms with broad stakeholder participation and prototypes. The economic benefits will be evaluated in a market model to be developed that includes intraday and balancing markets as well as redispatch and a common grid model.
The multinational research collaboration aims to make distributed energy resources (DER) flexibly accessible to transmission and distribution system operators on scalable digital platforms. It is about small and medium generation, consumption or storage components such as domestic battery storage that can be coupled with photovoltaic systems, small hydropower plants, heat pumps or even the combined battery capacity of many electric cars.
The exchange of offered flexibility potential between platforms and coordinated activations across multiple voltage levels or market areas will help ensure grid stability and promote economically efficient and transparent allocation of flexibility, both nationally and internationally.
While various platforms have already been developed in the recent past by research initiatives or as flagship projects by transmission and distribution system operators, international standards for flexibility platforms and standardized flexibility requirements have yet to be defined. These are critical to achieving interoperability between platforms at the national and international levels, enabling better coordination of vertical and horizontal market integration, and optimizing the allocation of flexibility between platforms.
All this is necessary to make the transformation of the energy system safe for the economy, society and industry for Europe.