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Best practices and implementation of innovative business models for Renewable Energy aggregatorS

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BestRES (Best practices and implementation of innovative business models for Renewable Energy aggregatorS)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-02-28

In the past, European electricity markets were designed around centralized fossil-fuel generation along national or regional borders. The electricity market landscape is changing because a rising share of distributed generation increases variability and price volatility in the system. This requires a more flexible system with more flexible consumption and generation. Renewable energy aggregation can significantly accelerate the integration of weather dependent electricity sources, enhance demand flexibility and decrease the reliance on renewable energy support schemes. More aggregation and market integration can however not be achieved by single individual, commercial or domestic consumers since they would only have a limited impact. It is only through a coordinated steering of larger amounts, numbers and types of consumers and producers in a market that the use of flexible distributed generation and demand response in combination with storage technologies can be effective.

There is an important role for renewable energy aggregators who act on behalf of consumers and use technological solutions and ICT for optimization. Aggregators are facilitators between the two sides of electricity markets – demand and supply. They develop energy services downstream for industrial, commercial or domestic customers who own generation and storage units or can offer demand response. Energy aggregators are offering value to the market players upstream such as BRPs, DSOs, TSOs and energy suppliers to optimize their portfolio and for balancing and congestion management. Furthermore, wholesale electricity markets benefit from aggregation if appropriate incentives are present.

The main objective of the BestRES project was to investigate the current barriers and to improve the role of renewable energy aggregators in future energy market designs. This was done by developing and implementing best practices of innovative business models for the aggregation of renewable energy. The innovative business models have been virtually implemented or implemented with real data and monitored in the following target countries: United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal. Related recommendations to enable the further uptake of the investigated business models have also been developed.
During the 1st reporting period (1st March 2016 – 31st August 2017), the consortium has assessed existing aggregator business models available at the time being in the European Union highlighting technical, market, environmental and social benefits. Barriers for and opportunities from renewable energy aggregation have also been investigated. The existing business models were improved considering the future market designs in the nine target countries: United Kingdom, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal. The consortium investigated for each of the improved business models if they are ready for implementation on the basis of an economic/feasibility study. During the 2nd reporting period (1st September 2017 - 28th February 2019), the improved business models ready for implementation have been implemented under real-life conditions and monitored. The replicability of the implemented business models has been verified for European Members inside and outside the BestRES Consortium. Recommendations and enabling conditions were developed for the replication of the business models and for overcoming the barriers hindering the implementation of the business models.

The aim of the exploitation activities was to promote the future take-up and exploitation of the BestRES results as well as to support a wide use of the developed concepts. BestRES produced numerous reports and their findings were used to test new business models for RES aggregation using real life data from the partners of the BestRES Consortium. This stimulated other aggregators outside the consortium to do the same. All the reports not classified as confidential have been uploaded on the BestRES website and extensively disseminated at the 35 events.
It is important to highlight that none of the existing or completed European projects or studies so far has conducted a comprehensive multi-criteria business model analyses for energy aggregators on RES, storage and DSM technologies integration into the electricity systems as it was done in the BestRES project.

The expected results until the end of the project were those one related to the implementation of improved business models and the elaboration of recommendations for the replication of improved business models.

Three main potential impacts have been identified for the BestRES project:
• Increasing share of renewable electricity in the final energy consumption
• Better policy, regulatory, market framework, financing frameworks on regional and local level
• Increase the public acceptance of renewables

Increasing the share of renewable electricity in the final energy consumption
This expected impact was translated in a market and technical dimension: 8 aggregation Business Models were implemented in 6 different European Member States. 5 business models have reached the break-even point as monitored and evaluated by the consortium. The amount of renewable energy has been correlated with the portfolio size aggregated during the implementation trial. For 4 business models the aggregation reached 5 MW. Analysis of applicability and degree of replication of business models to other market areas was carried out.

Better policy, regulatory, market framework, financing frameworks on regional and local level
BestRES supported capacity building and facilitate deployment of improved business models and innovative financial schemes for aggregation, which mobilised revenue streams to renewable energy, flexible demand, storage, and other technologies.
The project included real-life implementation of new aggregation business models. The detailed preparation and evaluation included analysis of how the business model would work or need to adapt to meet the requirements and tap revenue opportunities that come along with future market design changes in line with the EU target model. The result of the implementation and analysis were used as base for the development of recommendations and concrete proposals for local, regional and EU-wide policy and regulatory frameworks that support the replication of business models at the regional and local level or to other market regions. To ensure that targeted recommendations are practical and feasible, they have been developed alongside key stakeholders such as TSOs, DSOs, regulators, market platform operators and aggregators closely involved in the project. The goal of the recommendations was to remove barriers that hinder smaller aggregators seeking to enter the electricity market.

Addressing the needs for environmental impact assessments and public acceptance
Further market integration of RES-E pushed by the new business models developed within the BestRES project will significantly increased public and industry acceptance of renewables. The technical, social, and environmental benefits of aggregation have been demonstrated through Life- Cycle Analysis carried out within the project. In this way the benefits of aggregation have been explained to different stakeholder groups, such as policymakers, regulators, system operators and the general public.
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