Local Flexibility Markets - What are they and how can community energy organisations get involved?

As our electricity system becomes more decentralised, renewable generation grows and demand for electric vehicles and electrified heat rises, the grid is increasingly under pressure. One solution to accommodate this strain is to be more flexible in how, when and where we generate and consume electricity. In the current market, value is predominantly placed on the amount of electricity a customer uses, but in future markets ‘flexibility’ will become a service or commodity that can be bought and sold.

In collaboration with Regen and using funding from the Department of Business, Energy and Climate Change (BEIS), Carbon Co-op has reviewed current developments of the local flexibility market talking to key stakeholders including a number of DNOs, the ENA and Ofgem, examined the potential to implement open standards frameworks such as USEF and highlighted the business opportunity for community energy groups – developing the idea of the Energy Community Aggregation Service (ECAS).

Our new guide aims to help small businesses and community energy organisations better understand opportunities and challenges, to enable them to influence the development of flexibility markets. We strongly believe these new markets should be open to local players, not just the existing incumbents, so that the value of our changing energy system can be shared, and community energy organisations can bring a unique set of social and economic advantages to the table.

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