What are they and how can community energy organisations get involved?

We are excited to publish our guide to local flexibility markets which outlines what they are and how community energy organisations can get involved. In this guide we explore the need for electricity system flexibility, review market development, highlight the case for open standards and outline the ECAS (Energy Community Aggregator Service) concept. The guide is co-authored by Carbon Co-op and Regen and was funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Flexibility Markets Feasibility Study Competition in August 2018.

Flexibility markets are already becoming more established, with financial value, rules and technical systems currently being developed by regulators, stakeholders and industry. This 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.

Carbon Co-op, Regen and partners have been selected by BEIS for the next round of the competition, so we are now working on demonstrating the real-world potential for an open source, standards-based approach to a demand side response (DSR) management service. This project demonstrates controllable, flexible demand in real domestic environments, with the potential to scale up, via replication through the UK’s widespread existing community energy sector. The aim is to try and reduce cost and barriers to domestic participation in DSR, achieving this through interoperability, open source and off-the-shelf hardware. Smart electric vehicle (EV) chargers, immersion heaters, solar panels and solar divertors will be installed in 100 Carbon Co-op and social housing homes, and we’ll be evaluating the data towards the end of 2020.

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