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Power Systems & Markets

Today's power systems are designed and built around a small number of large power plants. However, the way we produce and use power is changing rapidly. Distributed renewable energy sources like solar panels and wind turbines challenge today’s systems. Ecofys contributes to the design of the systems of tomorrow.

At the supply side of the system, a growing number of distributed sources will feed into the grids. Solar and wind depend on the weather, so the electrical power input varies. At the user’s side, changes in transport and in heating mean that electrical demand from these uses will increase. This implies a re-design of the whole electrical power system - grids, conventional power plants, storage, and demand flexibility. At the same time, power markets also have to adapt.

For cost-efficient integration of climate-friendly power sources, a systemic approach to the whole power system is required. Combining redesign of technical, economic and regulatory frameworks will assure a secure, environmentally sound and economic supply of electricity.

Ecofys hosts a unique combination of interdisciplinary and in-depth expertise in grid codes and regulatory frameworks in many countries, in power markets, and in the innovative technologies being used in new electricity infrastructures. Ecofys has a broad track record in designing, modeling and demonstrating the power system of the future. We work for a wide range of clients, including governments, regulators, grid operators, project developers, electricity traders and politicians.

Power Systems Design and Operation

We combine modeling expertise, with practical experience. The Ecofys Power-Fys generation, transmission and network models are powerful tools to analyse long-term impacts of the integration of renewable energy sources, at hourly resolution and up to unit level of detail. Some assets:

  • Our models support our clients in planning investments for the future, over long time spans.
  • They show the impact of changing generation and consumption patterns on networks and help design the long-term transmission infrastructure.
  • Power system stability becomes a focus as the penetration of power from renewable sources increases. Our dynamic analysis shows security limits of penetration on both transmission and distribution levels.

Demand-side flexibility (so-called ‘smart grids’), will be an important option in the future. We help customers understand the practicality and business case for different smart grid options and demonstrate how they work in practice.  We also design grid codes that enable renewable energy to become a reliable source of power, even in system-critical situations.

Markets and Regulation

Not only the physical power system needs to adapt, so do the power markets and regulatory frameworks. The impact of an increasing amount of renewables already shows in market prices today. Flexible systems and new financial incentives will be needed to match supply and demand in the future.

New systems and financial incentives are the focus of our analysis in the area of markets and regulation. This analysis leads to a market design and the regulatory actions that secure an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient power system.