Joint TSO/DSO Roadmap on distributed flexibility

Position paper/report Download PDF

Power system flexibility is key to a successful energy transition. The advent of variable renewable
energies and Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), coupled with the parallel decommissioning of
conventional power plants, calls for the development of new approaches to system operation and the
sourcing of ancillary services.

The security and stability of the electricity grid will increasingly rely on the contribution of assets
connected to the distribution grid. Sound coordination schemes between transmission and
distribution system operators (TSOs/DSOs) are thus critical to avoid harmful interferences across
voltage levels and competition for accessing resources.

The Clean Energy Package sets a general framework for a redesign of electricity markets that
guarantees the fair and equal participation of all flexibility service providers, including active
customers. It also acknowledges the evolving role and tools of DSOs and TSOs towards more active
system management. Member States are currently adapting their national legislation to integrate
these new requirements.

The Electricity Regulation also provides the basis for the development of new EU regulation on
demand-side flexibility if necessary (Article 59 of Regulation (EU)2019/944). In this regard, a policy
discussion is emerging about the relevance of a network code in the area of demand-side / distributed
flexibility. This Roadmap represents the joint contribution of ENTSO-E and the European associations
representing electricity DSOs (CEDEC, E.DSO, Eurelectric, GEODE) to this debate. It provides a joint
assessment of the regulatory gaps that require addressing to facilitate the participation of DERs in
“flexibility services”.

The recommendations of the report are summarised in the table below. They are the outcome of 5
months of analysis and discussion between TSO and DSO experts involved in a Joint Task Force on
Distributed Flexibility, which was set up in the framework of the Distribution & Transmission
Cooperation Platform.

Although diverging perspectives still exist regarding the housing of these new rules, ENTSO-E and the
European DSO associations hope that this Roadmap will support the development of concrete
regulatory proposals which address the identified gaps under the initiative of the European
Commission, with the involvement of the Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators and

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