After 48 months of relentless effort, the 11 X-FLEX partners have crafted digital tools aimed at enhancing flexibility and sustainability in the EU energy system. These innovative solutions were not only developed but also demonstrated across four pilot sites in Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Here’s a glimpse of the remarkable impacts achieved:
1. Empowering Distribution Grid Flexibility
X-FLEX has significantly boosted the flexibility of distribution grids, aligning them with the vision of 50% electricity production from renewables by 2030. Notably, the GRIDFLEX tool played a pivotal role in enabling various flexibility-enhancing scenarios:
In Albena (Bulgaria), the optimization of load management in building clusters has opened the door to higher PV capacity installation.
Luče (Slovenia) explored the potential for increased PV capacity through local load optimization, especially beneficial in remote areas.
Ravne (Slovenia) demonstrated the feasibility of expanding PV in the local grid, leveraging boiler flexibility—a cost-effective solution where grid reinforcement is costly.
2. Shaping a Robust Electricity Market
X-FLEX has contributed to defining the conditions for a well-functioning electricity market, fostering a business case for flexibility providers. Key achievements include:
In Albena (Bulgaria), collaboration with the TSO expanded decentralized flexibility options, reducing the minimum capacity for flexibilities offered on markets.
Luče (Slovenia) conducted tests for a local flexibility market, supporting Slovenia’s plans for its establishment.
3. Future-Ready Energy Load Management
X-FLEX has equipped the energy system to manage future loads, including electric vehicles (EVs):
In Albena (Bulgaria), there’s potential for higher PV capacity installation, particularly in segments with high replication potential.
Luče (Slovenia) showcased the significance of managing energy community loads, emphasizing EVs and batteries in alignment with the EU’s energy community rollout.
4. Enhancing Grid Operations for Renewable Integration
X-FLEX’s innovations have improved distribution grid operations, ensuring security of supply and efficient use of flexibility products while integrating variable renewables. Notable impacts include:
– Luče (Slovenia) resolved congestion using flexibilities and enhanced security of supply with load management and a community battery.
– Xanthi (Greece) tested security of supply in extreme weather events, addressing the needs of remote areas and islands.
5. Socio-Economic Impacts
Beyond the technical achievements, X-FLEX has brought forth socio-economic benefits:
– Cheaper electricity supply with higher renewable shares, a boon during the current energy crisis.
– Greener and more sustainable tourism, increasing the allure of tourist destinations.
– The demos, especially in Luče and Albena, have inspired interest from other stakeholders, showcasing the potential for broader adoption.