The value of flexibility plays an increasingly important role in the transformation of the energy system. In addition to the expansion of volatile producers and changes in fuel prices, the value of flexibility is also significantly influenced by European electricity market coupling as well as technical, regulatory and social developments. When drawing up future scenarios of the design of the energy system, classically designed studies extrapolate the status quo of these influencing factors with minor adjustments. However, with the two prominent examples of the phase-out of nuclear energy and the sharp drop in prices for photovoltaics, history has shown that there can always be major cuts that fundamentally change the basis of valuation. Thus, the approach of extrapolating the status quo with minor adjustments is insufficient to cover the variety of possible development paths. However, in the interest of balanced risk management from the perspective of politicians and all actors in the energy sector, it is also necessary to take account of developments with a low probability of occurrence, but potentially high impact. It is now the task of science to adapt and further develop existing methods in order to derive and quantify possible future scenarios for the design of the energy system.
The main goal of the “eXtremOS” project is to develop and apply methods that allow investigating the value of flexibility in the conflict between demand and supply.
Against the background of the expansion of renewable energies throughout Europe, the provision of flexibility through international exchange of energy plays an increasingly central role in the energy system. Due to Germany’s central location, developments in the neighboring countries and their effects on Germany are therefore of particular interest to “eXtremOS”. Another central aspect of the project is to primarily investigate scenarios that take into account disruptive developments from a regulatory, technical and social perspective. Disruptive developments can have a major impact on the supply and demand of flexibility, even if their probability of occurrence is low.
Different approaches are used to derive possible extreme scenarios. Together with Agora Energiewende, ITAS will organize national and international stakeholder workshops as well as Delphi studies and expert interviews. Based on the results, the cross-impact balance method will be used to derive the extreme scenarios.
In addition to identifying extreme scenarios, the project will also analyze their effects on the possible design of the future energy system. The focus of ITAS’ work will be on studying the societal implications. Two or three cases will be selected and analyzed in depth Using the impact assessment matrix.