EDSO highlights the impact of consumer flexibility in smart grid development


The whitepaper analyzes the deployment and benefits of smart grid project ‘EnergieKoplopers’ deployed in the municipality of Heerhugowaard, to help utility firms, cities and governments in planning smart energy projects.

EDSO prepared the paper to show the impact of decentralising consumer flexibility in the development of sustainable grids.

The EnergieKoploper project was funded under the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Innovation Programme Intelligent Grids.

The municipality of Heerhugowaard implemented the demand response pilot project designed to identify and address constraints associated with increased adoption of renewable energy resources to prepare the Netherlands in its transition to a sustainable energy system.

Under the demand response pilot, some 203 consumer households participated in the pilot and used solutions and services provided by Alliander, Essent, IBM, ICT Group and NRG031.

Participating households were equipped with smart appliances controlled by a smart IT system to allow consumers to better manage their energy consumption.

Approximately 183 households were equipped with 6.7KWh solar panels, 95 with PV-switches, 49 with heat pumps, 45 with electric boilers and 14 with fuel cells.

Some of the constraints identified to be facing global utilities in increasing integration of renewable energy resources with their grid networks include:

  • High costs of the energy system due to the reinforcement of grid network to meet the occurrence of peak demand periods;
  • Utility difficulties in predicting supply and grid demand due to the fluctuating character of solar and wind power

‘Prosumers’ and demand-side flexibility

According to EDSO, “With the right proposition, flexibility can be unlocked amoungst prosumers.”  The organisation adds that in deploying such a programme, aggregators should note that:

1. Have a compelling story, with sustainability as the key component
2. Convenience is key as prosumers do not want to spend extra time and effort on implementing flexibility propositions. Automatic controlling of appliances contributes to convenience
3. Proposition should not incur any extra costs as prosumers value financial security
4. Excellent customer service achieved the reliability of aggregators in safeguarding the privacy of participating prosumers and their experience in controlling consumer appliances.

According to results recorded as a result of the project, flexibility in the market can prevent serious congestion for a grid operator. The demand response pilot helped the municipality avoid 15 power outages and a reduction in both the duration and energy required during peak periods.

EDSO reiterates that:

  • The flexibility market needs a market model such as USEF in which both the interests of BRPs and DSO are taken into consideration and both parties help each other at all times.
  • The aggregator completes the market for flexibility but does not need to deliver.


Image credit: Sourceable