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With other energy market players


With other energy market players

Yearly report 2021

Sibelga is actively participating in the transformation of the energy market towards a system where the consumer is called upon to play an increasingly active role.

A new central data system for the Belgian energy sector

In November and December 2021, a major step was taken to facilitate the exchange of data between Belgian energy suppliers and grid operators: the launch of a new Central Market System (CMS) and a new communication protocol called MIG-6.

Until now, each network operator had its own IT system to manage the data of the supply points of its networks and to process the exchange of information within the energy market. For example, to access consumption data from meter readings, suppliers had to consult the databases of each network operator concerned. Now they have a single access point.

This new centralized system is an essential development in the context of the energy transition and future market developments. In addition to harmonized procedures within the three regions, it will facilitate many new developments in the energy market. In particular, consumers will be able to conclude contracts for their withdrawal from and injection into the grid with the same supplier or with different suppliers, at different tariffs. The new system will also facilitate the integration of smart meters, with the possibility for the consumer to opt for a monthly billing regime and for the supplier to offer dynamic tariffs to customers with smart meters. Finally, it will enable more accurate energy balances to be delivered to market players.

Preparing the energy market of tomorrow

The implications of the energy transition will not only affect the network infrastructure. They will also affect customers whose energy supply contracts will be transformed and diversified.

For example, in the future, you could have the possibility to subscribe, in addition to your domestic electricity supply contract, to a specific supply contract for your electric vehicle. This could have special conditions, for example for the resale of the electricity stored in the vehicle’s battery when you are not driving.

This is why the distribution system operators launched a new market consultation platform in April 2021 within the Synergrid federation.

Specifically, working groups dedicated to specific topics, such as the multiple contracts described above, have been formed. All market players who wish to do so can sign up. The first sessions brought together some 60 participants. “The idea is to encourage co-creation and collaboration between all market players to reach sector agreements that will ultimately benefit consumers,” explains Daphné Benzennou, Flex/Market Evolution Manager. A fine illustration of Sibelga’s role as a market facilitator!

SDG Voices: Network managers as ambassadors for sustainable development

Each year, the Federal Institute for Sustainable Development elects a series of sustainability ambassadors, known as “SDG Voices”. In 2021, the Federal Minister for Climate and Environment, Zakia Khattabi, awarded this title to the federation of electricity and gas network operators, Synergrid, and its members.

Following this nomination, the distribution and transmission system operators have together launched various actions to raise awareness of their role in the energy transition and highlight the actions already taken.

Several webinars were organized on various topics such as electric mobility, fuel poverty and energy communities. Videos explaining the role of network managers in the energy transition were also broadcast. In addition, a delegation from the Youth Forum and the Vlaamse Jeugdraad went to meet the first two energy communities in Brussels: the Nos Bambins school in Ganshoren and the community.

“The young people were inspired by the ease with which these communities offer the opportunity to be an actor in the energy transition on a neighborhood scale. Indeed, this innovative mechanism allows access to green energy at a more advantageous price and to participate in the fight against global warming”, says Serena Galeone, spokesperson for Sibelga, who accompanied the visit.

Internet of Energy: second edition!

Following the success of the first edition launched in 2019, Sibelga, the three distribution system operators Fluvius, Ores, Resa and the transmission system operator Elia have gone back to the drawing board for a second edition of IO.Energy (Internet of Energy).

As a reminder, this initiative aims at stimulating energy market players (companies, start-ups, universities…) to develop innovative solutions for consumers. Indeed, with the energy transition, the final consumer is called to play an increasingly active role in the energy market: for example by producing his own energy with photovoltaic panels or by adapting his consumption to the energy available on the network.

For this second edition, new tools were made available to participants to help them develop their business case. A consumer panel, made up of a hundred participants equipped with smart meters, allows project groups to carry out tests under real conditions.

Among the selected projects, we can mention Co-gestion. Its ambition is to create a “Home Energy Management System”, a software program that would analyze the consumer’s habits and suggest that he or she postpone switching on certain appliances at times that are more favorable for the balance of the network, at an advantageous rate.

The flexibility market continues to grow

A constant balance between electricity production and consumption is a prerequisite for the operation of the grid. For several years now, grid users have been able to participate in this balancing act in exchange for financial compensation. For example, a plant can temporarily shut down certain production lines to reduce the load on the network. This is called the flexibility market. It is an essential piece of the puzzle for managing a network where renewable production, which varies according to weather conditions, is becoming increasingly important and making balancing more complex.

In 2021, this market has undergone new developments. In particular, a portal has been set up for flexibility providers to facilitate the management of their customer portfolio.

In addition, the energy transfer mechanism has been implemented for the day-ahead/intraday markets (trading of electricity for the next day or the same day). Among other things, this mechanism provides for financial compensation for the energy supplier who has been harmed by a reduction in consumption by one of its customers as a result of the activation of flexibility. Following a federal law, it is gradually being implemented on the various markets.