The Recovery Plan for Europe will offer attractive opportunities for the digitalisation of the energy system, facilitating not only energy sector transition and transformation but also growth and job creation. Developing open energy marketplaces is at the centre stage in this effort.
Scaling up of services across EU markets is imperative for the viability of the underlying platforms and services. The scaling up, on the other hand, will be possible only through significant investment in distributed digital infrastructures, data spaces and enhanced connectivity. Clear rules and a favourable environment are key to allow the required financing of those investments.
The paper identified several general dimensions to activate marketplaces development:
- Ensuring that the market design is fit to send the appropriate market signals for consumers to adopt and engage with these innovations;
- User experience and interoperability are key to scale-up the innovations;
- Fostering an innovation-friendly culture;
- Public sector participation as an active energy prosumer through publicly owned buildings and sites that may contribute to fostering open energy marketplaces
- The enabling technologies are at high TRL level, dynamically evolving
- Governance is key for scaling up and integrations with market actors and grid operators
To operationalize the activation of transitions, the paper points at:
- Designing measures to channel private finance to the required infrastructure. Public policies have a role to play in this. The objective is allowing matchmaking between private sector finance and green and digital infrastructures;
- Supporting Research & Innovation activities aiming at increasing the maturity level of the solutions (above TRL5) based on the use case approach;
- Designing spaces where regulatory and policy experimentation can happen.
Further experimentation needs to address three layers:
- Experimentation on data exchanges and interoperable interfaces;
- Experimentation to define standard clauses for automated long-term contracts, and to study financial aspects associated with them, such as the bankability dimension;
- Experimentation to identify and measure potential anti-competitive behaviours.
Experimentation will require methods to measure the results of the experiments. Standardizing measures/indexes to monitor the evolution of and potential barriers caused by current market designs and financial structures is of considerable importance. Hence, the efforts in the design of indicators would need to address three dimensions:
- Monitoring the ability of consumer-side players to find the required financial resources to undertake investments in assets for open marketplaces (bankability of demand-side projects);
- Contract clauses: How to map risk bearing among participants in an open energy marketplace, particularly in terms of conflict resolution;
- Providing insight on the ability of consumers to decide on the development of the energy systems.