The acceleration of decentralized power rollout and the increasing electrification of demand brings challenges and opportunities. As a challenge we see grid security complications due to volatile supply and demand curves, making it harder to anticipate and resolve balancing and congestion issues. On the other hand, these new resources are often interesting for flexibility markets due to their flexible production and demand. The need for participation of these resources in the flexibility market is high but profits on smaller units are relatively low today, decreasing the incentive to enter them in the market. Costs related to information obligations are putting further pressure on profitability while the pace at which this information is needed and requested by regulators and System Operators is increasing. In Belgium we experience many initiatives to vertically expand the flexibility market to new voltage levels. Additionally, we see information needs for grid security from points on lower voltage levels, resulting in information obligations on the roadmap of the regulators and System Operators with data exchanges to be rolled out in the years to come. Finally, driven by TSOs across the continent and boosted by European projects like PICASSO and MARI, local markets are increasingly adopting information exchanges based on CIM standards.

With Apylon, we expect to create value by: 
• Cost efficiency: Apylon seeks to manage most complexity, which often comes with standards, behind the scenes to allow a seamless information exchange whilst meeting necessary data requirements of CIM based platforms. As more data providers integrate with IEGSA Apylon extension, the value of cost efficiency will accumulate cost savings for each implementation project that benefits from easier integration.
• Access to information: As Apylon will significantly lower the entry barrier to comply to an information obligation, we expect more rapid information acquisition and sharing, especially amongst data providers new to these standards.
• Adoption of standards: In the end Apylon will transform its input to CIM, increasing the standard’s adoption and inducing European energy market communications that in turn generate cost efficiencies and steer market development.

The economic impact will be twofold: flexibility market development and business case improvement by lowering costs and entry barriers. By requesting and exposing the right datasets, opportunities for flexible energy resources will be increasingly visible for all market participants, allowing increased participation and spurring progressive legislation where it is most needed. We expect that easier adoption will facilitate and accelerate European energy system integration which will reap benefits of a larger and more diverse energy market. Not only will this growing market spread value across those who market the flexibility, but it will be key to improving system operations generating overall societal value.

From a technological standpoint, the combination of complex data standards and best practice Application Programming Interface Management (APIM), Apylon offers a central point adhering to the latest standards in a developer and business friendly way. We believe this can have a major impact for those with minimal IT resources or expertise on complex standards, or to simply optimize existing integrations.
The application of a flexible data mapping tool and role-specific API schemas will be validated with the intention to offer a faster, less costly, and modern way to work with CIM standards (and other complex protocols), in contrast to the manual, extensive reference guide and expert needs to implement CIM compliant integrations. The Apylon vision is to provide energy market connectivity as simple and transparent as the OAuth2 standard, which has changed the way we use the web with secure resources. Our design approach will be agnostic to data outputs, allowing for support of international standards, ACER contracts and those beyond transparency needs.

Our approach relies on data-driven services and best practice to meet future standardization changes. With a team familiar with theory on data ontologies and taxonomies, and the experience working in Research & Innovation (R&I) projects, we will continue to apply our findings in this domain.

When it comes to scientific impact, the project and resulting deliverables will be published and provide both case study and material to support the IEGSA reference architecture. Specifically, insight into the validation of a flexible data mapping tool, the use of modern REST Open API standards and application in key use cases. The project will result in gathering market data, establishing contact with key players, and preparing a beta program to launch the Apylon service.

With a valid and verified concept, insight into real-world operating costs and a roadmap to bring to market can provide confidence that such solutions are viable. The results will provide a reference pilot that can be understood by other actors seeking design approaches to integrate their own flexible data mapping tools. The types of impact that project may have varies, both during and beyond. However, key measures during the project include successful completion of pilot cases, considering number of app/API errors, ease of mapping and accuracy of CIM compliance. Further the number of beta program engagements (sign ups and questions) will be a clear indicator on the interest in the commercial solution.

For more details, please consult with the project presentation.