A business perspective on energy system flexibility

Robbert-Jan van der Burg

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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The growing integration of renewable energy production in the energy system creates challenges for parties active in power systems, for example related to system balance and congestion. Energy flexibility is considered a potential solution to these challenges and can be offered as a service to interested parties. This thesis adopts a business perspective on energy flexibility and the associated flexibility services. Three studies are executed, concentrating on key scientific business issues related to flexibility services. The first study explores the characteristics and associated management challenges and practices of aggregator companies offering flexibility services, where the focus is specifically on the on-demand supply of flexibility. This study draws upon the academic service management literature focusing on on-demand services. In the second study, the focus is on conceptualizing the notion of flexibility in the business context of flexibility services offered by aggregators via on-demand service platforms. In so doing, this study draws upon academic literature on energy flexibility and the on-demand service platform literature. The third study focuses on the underlying architecture of aggregators’ platform infrastructure and the way these types of businesses evolve to support the evolution of aggregator companies. This study draws upon the academic literature on on-demand service platforms and modular architectures. This thesis shows that some of the key challenges faced by flexibility service providers relate to fundamental service management issues that are also encountered in other industries. By addressing these issues, the results of this thesis contribute to the scientific literature on service management and energy flexibility and the viable implementation of flexibility businesses in power systems.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Wortmann, Johan, Supervisor
  • Huitema, George, Supervisor
  • Ahaus, Kees, Supervisor
Award date15-Mar-2021
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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