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Is industry embarking on valuable flexibility? TenneT launches Industrial ValueFlex Tool

'What revenue and savings could my company generate in the energy markets if we take advantage of our opportunities to use electricity more flexibly?' TenneT has developed the Industrial ValueFlex Tool, which can be used to answer that very question. The tool is available free of charge to industrial wholesale electricity consumers.

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The Industrial ValueFlex Tool gives a picture of the maximum return per year for flexible deployment of assets in a company, by mirroring the flex capacity with the market value. Can a battery, an electric boiler, heat storage or a production process operate flexibly? And how much capacity can then be available to the market, how quickly? With that information, the tool explores opportunities in the markets for day ahead, intraday, FCR, aFRR and mFRR power. Various modules zoom in on specific processes: combined mass and heat storage, batch and continuous processes, heat generation, batteries, load shifting and air conditioning

Result: efficiency estimation

The result of the calculations is always an estimate of the potential return that can be achieved, per asset, per year. In doing so, the Industrial ValueFlex Tool gives an indication of returns possible in existing markets, but not the optimal mix of assets, smartly distributed across all markets. The tool has many variables, which users can adjust as they see fit. For example, it is possible to enter one's own estimate of price developments in the energy markets into the calculation tool. Prices in the markets are currently very volatile. Also, production processes can often be adjusted in many ways.

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The Industrial ValueFlex Tool is available free of charge

The Industrial ValueFlex Tool is made available free of charge from TenneT's website after entering your name and an e-mail address. Further details are not shared; the tool runs entirely within the user's IT environment. This prevents issues with privacy and security. Variables are entered in an Excell sheet, which is uploaded into the tool.

Click here to learn more about the Industrial ValueFlex Tool
Unknown makes unloved

With the Industrial ValueFlex Tool, large industrial energy consumers can more easily visualise their financial opportunities with flex power. Such opportunities are readily available in companies where heat plays a role, such as in the chemical and food industries - even if they are slightly smaller enterprises. Sometimes the opportunities are insufficiently known, or it is assumed that a production process cannot simply be adapted. But even in that situation, there are often opportunities in secondary processes, with heat or steam, for example. In the current market conditions, there is certainly no harm in using this tool to explore the opportunities and risks of flex power.

National market consultation

TenneT estimates that currently only 10 per cent of the available flexible capacity is used. A national market consultation, announced on 17 November, should show where additional space could become available on the existing grid by deploying flexibility. Customers would then be able to reduce their grid capacity during peak times and use more capacity at other times for a fee. The study is a collaboration with regional grid operators and industry associations.

Grid cannot do it alone

The launch of the Industrial ValueFlex Tool, is in line with that quest: the deployment of flex power is becoming essential for a well-functioning electricity grid. In several regions, the limits of the high-voltage grid's capacity are coming into view, as requests are growing faster than anticipated and grids cannot be expanded as quickly.
With the strong growth of electricity from solar and wind and a high degree of electrification, infrastructure capacity is sometimes insufficient to seamlessly match supply and demand. In other words, sufficient grid capacity is no longer always a given. More industrial flexibility can help keep both energy and grid capacity costs manageable and optimise the use of available grid capacity.

Stepping up to the future

TenneT is therefore keen to see industrial - and other large consumers unlock their options for flexibility and align their business processes with the opportunities that arise in the markets. Those opportunities are many and varied. With short-term (day-night) variations, options for longer periods of high or low production from wind and solar, and options only needed sporadically to spare grid capacity. The Industrial ValueFlex Tool helps companies better understand the opportunities presented by flexible energy use. And thus bring energy-dependent industry and our grid capacity a step closer to the energy system of the future.