FLEXICIENCY aimed to facilitate the deployment of novel services in the electricity retail markets thanks to a European-wide Market Place for standardized interactions among electricity stakeholders, simultaneously opening up the energy market to new players at EU level.
- The EU Market Place provides a neutral access at EU level to all players in the electricity markets. It assures the necessary seamless integration with existing systems (DSO’s/service’s).
- The EU Market Place drives virtual networking to enable B2B interactions, making a bridge between players in the EU Market Place. Registered players can publish and subscribe services that are visible on the platform at EU scale.
- The EU Market Place puts players in contact routing the request of services to the IT platforms of the players concerned.
- No data exchange/storage occur on the EU Market Place – it is not a data hub: Services/data are exchanged peer to peer and players manage directly data/services they are authorized for.
- No data privacy issue on the MP.
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Today, smarter grids are enabling electricity producers and consumers to effectively change their habits concerning electricity generation and usage in ways that can contribute to the system optimisation while also benefiting themselves and helping to reduce carbon emissions. With the growth of generated distribution and customers’ more conscious participation, there is a strong need for data from those companies who offer services for managing or producing energy. This data should be available with a certain level of aggregation and update, but somehow the data is not always accessible or easy to find.
According to the project scope, the introduction of an EU Market Place will provide a common platform for supply and demand of data and services, accelerating the creation of novel innovative services. This will allow all the market players to operate across different countries, facilitating the access to information not yet available on a wide European scale. In this regard, the FLEXICIENCY project addressed several critical components of the modernizing steps required for the European electricity grids and retail market to better enable a low carbon electricity value chain.
The main goal of the project was to demonstrate that the deployment of novel services in the electricity retail markets can be accelerated with an open, European-wide Market Place for standardized interactions among existing and joining market players. According to this vision, the EU Market Place acted as a catalyser for the interactions between all the relevant stakeholders in an open and standardized way, to encourage a cross-country and cross-player access to innovative energy services. The EU Market Place provided a central register of data and services that can be discovered by any market player wishing to integrate and provide novel services such as advanced monitoring, local energy control, flexibility aggregation and others.
The set of services available through the Market Place will be of much value. For example it could include data aggregated by geographical area with several timings (from monthly to near-real-time), individual metering data provision either for single or multiple Points of Delivery (PODs) under the customer consent, IT-advanced services for data analysis and data mining to be provided to energy players such as Distribution System Operators (DSOs) or retailers, or, again, flexibility services offers.
The EU Market Place
In the EU Market Place, every market player can publish services or data or look for existing service and subscribe them. Once the subscription process is concluded, the data exchange among different market players is happening outside the platform. EU Market Place is thus not storing any data, except those identifying the market players and the type of service and data exchanged, allowing the platform infrastructure to be more flexible and efficient. Interactions between every market player and the EU Market Place are made through RESTful/API interfaces, while the B2B data exchange uses a standardized data model called EUMED, as described further.
The platform features an easy way to realize interfaces with the service operators. Hence, less time to enter the Market Place and explore the service offer or to publish a new service on it is needed. The platform also offers the possibility to test the connection before in order to build the interface, with minimal effort. In addition, the standardized B2B interface and data model, to exchange services and data among the players, allows any operator to use same interfaces and protocols across countries. That brings the scalability at European level: once the first interaction is operating, the same software can be replicated towards all the other stakeholders involved in next transactions.
The integration between the EU Market Place and the market players has an important role in the vision as it optimizes the process for the data and service exchange between participating partners’ platforms. The main purpose of the EU Market Place is to provide a central register of data and services, called B2B data services, provided by different energy market players. The platform in particular allows Service Providers to publish a detailed description of their B2B services using either details and basic information for the integration. Service Requesters, on the other hand, can negotiate B2B data service subscription and once the subscription is finalized, the B2B integration process is initiated.
One of the project goals is to provide tools that enable quick integration between the market players. This includes automation of the B2B integration process, which consists of the following steps, as illustrated in Figure 1:
To automate the B2B integration process, integration components that allow reliable integration between the EU Market Place and market player platforms have been put in place. This eventually allows the exchange of the data that is required by the market player platforms to initiate internal processes, which take care of the B2B data exchange. The automation of the B2B integration process is achieved by the EU-MP API implemented as RESTful web service.
B2B data exchange: the EUMED CIM data exchange model
Great attention has been placed in standardization, not only to access the EU Market Place. That’s why, after the definition of a common language and semantics for B2B data exchange at EU level, the FLEXICIENCY consortium decided to move further in this direction, defining a common data model and communication protocol also for B2B interactions.
How should this data model be? The main requirements are as follows:
- To be generic, covering existing system and preparing future data services, through the same model:
o Historical energy metering Indexes (for billing);
o Individual Load Curve (for Future & Smart Energy Services);
o Aggregated data (for Demand Response and Energy Efficiency purposes).
- To play a pivot format function, for European interoperability, allowing:
o EU cross border exchanges among regulated and unregulated companies,
o Energy Market expansion for the benefits of residential customer, and
o Collaboration between different companies.
- To be multi commodity model, for future exploitation, allowing:
o Metering of different electricity usage (heat, air conditioning, white goods, …)
o Metering other commodities, for longer term horizon, such as: water, gas, etc.
In the perspective, a detailed data model for B2B communication has been thus defined to support the interactions between the main users of FLEXICIENCY. In particular, it provides a detailed specification for B2B Metering data exchanges. This model is based on CIM (Common Information Model) standard where further attributes have been added to fit to FLEXICIENCY use cases. This model is called EUMED CIM for European Union Metering Exchange Data CIM format.
The Communication protocol chosen for B2B interactions is RESTful, because of its many positive features, like: readable data packets, less bandwidth requirement, faster response time, compatibility with modern tools for specifying and testing API endpoints (e.g. Swagger, Postman) and, also, the REST approach is already used in the interface with the EU Market Place. Using it for the B2B exchange is consistent and imposes no further technological overhead for implementers. Since there were no existing European standard for RESTful data exchange for energy market places, the consortium proposed the development of a new standard.
- D2.1 Definition of services and use cases description
- D2.2 Definition of project overall system architecture
- D2.3 Data model and interfaces
- D3.1 Definition of project KPIs and a common methodology across the demos
- D3.2 Cross-case analysis of the results from the demonstrations
- D4.4 EU Market Place REX and lesson learned
- D5.2 Results achieved in the Italian demonstration
- D6.0 B2B Data Standard EUropean Meter Exchange Data CIM V1.1
- D6.0 Schema definitions – Annex
- D6.3 Assessment of the business models developed in the French demo
- D7.4 Report on the integration of the infrastructure with the new Services/Aggregator platforms for the Spanish demo
- D7.6 KPI measurements and calculations and demo evaluation for the Spanish demo
- D8.3 Report on the results achieved in the Swedish demonstration
- D9.3 Report on the results achieved in the Austrian and pan-European demonstrations
- D10.2 Description of preliminary business and market model options of the experimentally demonstrated use cases
- D10.3 The mapping of enabling factors and barriers
- D11.6 Final project report and recommendations
Cired 19/07/2016 Stromsather, Jon; Marretta, Laura; Soderstrom, Peter
The development of competition and entry of new players in the Europe’s electricity retail market would be facilitated by the removal of existing barriers and the emergence of new services. Low cost access to the real time data in an open way will be a key element to foster the deployment of new services. […]
Cired 04/06/2017 BOUKIR Karima; TRAVERSON Bruno; POVSE Rok;
FLEXICIENCY project aims at providing a Market Place for European electricity distribution stakeholders. This paper focuses on modelling activities held in the project on meter data and their exchange among stakeholders. […]
Cired 12/06/2017 BOUKIR Karima; WAESTLUND Dag; TRAVERSON Bruno; SCHWARZLAENDER Friedrich; DE FRANCISCI Silvia;
This paper describes the architecture of the FLEXICIENCY project, looking at functional and nonfunctional requirements, for B2B interactions (mainly between DSO and Data Requester such as an Energy Service Operator ESO. It includes a Market Place as a contact point and IT innovative platform to be […]
Cired 08/06/2018 Andraž ANDOLŠEK; Mag. Peter NEMČEK; Amador GÓMEZ LÓPEZ; Andrea ZOCCHI; Jorge BRUNA ROMERO; Miguel Ángel OLIVÁN MONGE;
This paper describes how, within FLEXICIENCY project, flexibility and validation services are being implemented and verified, with a special focus on two large scale demos, out of the five running in the project. It also describes how energy systems from different countries across Europe […]
IEEE 18/10/2018 GAZVODA, Anton Zvonko; JURIČ Matjaž Branko;
This paper presents the integration architecture implemented in the FLEXICIENCY project. The integration architecture defines how Market Players can integrate their platforms with a central EU Market Place in order to provide interfaces enabling the automated exchange of data.