The BestRES project aimed to develop innovative business models for integration of renewable energy sources by aggregating distributed generation such as wind, PV, biogas, biomass, hydro, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and combining this with demand side management and energy storage.
BestRES was funded by the Horizon 2020 EU Research and Innovation programme and involved 11 partner organizations that are active in 9 different European countries. The project started in March 2016 and lasted three years.
European electricity markets were historically designed around centralized and mostly fossil-fuel generation. The electricity market landscape is however changing because the growth in renewable energy is increasing the share of intermittent electricity and price volatility in the power system.
In this framework, the market integration of intermittent electricity from renewable energy sources cannot 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 vast amounts and types of consumers and producers in a market that the use of distributed generation, demand side management and energy storage can be effective. Therefore, there is an important role for renewable energy aggregators who act on behalf of consumers.
“Renewable energy aggregators are legal entities that aggregate the load or generation of various demand and/or generation/production units and aim at optimizing energy supply and consumption technically and/or economically.”
On the one hand, energy aggregators provide energy services upstream the power system for industrial, commercial or domestic customers, who own generation and energy storage units and offer demand side management services. On the other hand, they also offer flexibility for ancillary services to the traditional downstream market players such as Balance Responsible Parties (BRPs), Distribution System Operators (DSOs), Transmission System Operators (TSOs), energy suppliers and prosumers. The energy aggregators support these market actors to optimize their portfolios and for balancing and grid congestion management. Furthermore, energy aggregators can create value on wholesale (intraday, day-ahead and futures)
The main objective of the BestRES project was to improve the role of renewable energy aggregators in future electricity market design. In order to achieve this, the work has been structured for achieving the following objectives:
- Investigate existing European business models for the aggregation of renewable energy sources, gain a deep understanding of their technical, market, environmental and social benefits and legal barriers preventing their implementation
- Improve the current business models considering market designs with a focus on competitiveness and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). These improved business models were then be implemented with real data and monitored in the following target countries: United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal.
- Replicate the renewable energy aggregator business models across the European Union and increase the integration of the renewable sources
The BestRES projects aimed to better integrate renewable energies into the power system with a special focus on market integration. New renewable energy business models that allow aggregators to successfully participate in the market by combining different RES technologies, energy storage, flexible demand and other technologies into a commercially viable product were assessed and improved. Afterwards they were also implemented and evaluated in real life.
BestRES fostered the full market integration of renewable energy sources, which increased profitability and reduce reliance on today support schemes. The project also supported the establishment of a robust regulatory framework that encourages investments in the renewable energy sector.
The expected impacts of the project were:
- Successful implementation of business models and full market integration of renewable energy sources beyond support schemes
- Increase of the hosting capacity of the transmission grid and ancillary services provided to the TSOs through direct implementation of the improved renewable energy business models
- Assessment of market design for ancillary services across the 9 partner countries, and in particular for implementation of renewable energy aggregators business models
- Recommendations on market design and on the legal and regulatory framework for creating power systems with flexible demand and improved demand side management
- Support to policy makers for creating new policy strategies that support the renewable energy aggregator business models and the integration of renewable energy overall