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Task Force: Creating a Market for Flexibility in the Electricity Sector

CEPS Energy Climate House is launching a new Task Force on Creating a Market for Flexibility in the Electricity Sector. The objective to reach 27% renewables by 2030, which was decided by the European Council in October 2014, would translate into a share of at least 45% of renewable electricity by 2030[1] compared to a share of 27% in 2014[2]. According to the EU’s “Energy Roadmap 2050”[3], by 2050 renewable energy would contribute 64-96% to the electricity mix. Most renewable electricity can be expected to come from intermittent sources (wind and solar power). Accommodating such high shares of intermittent renewables will require flexible resources and infrastructure, as has been continuously highlighted by the European Commission.
Flexibility is necessary to ensure that demand and supply can be matched at every given point in time to keep the electricity system stable. Flexibility in the electricity sector can therefore be described as the capability to dynamically compensate supply peaks and shortages as well as bottlenecks in the grid. The higher the share of intermittent renewables, the more flexible resources are needed.
Flexible resources can include flexibility in demand (e.g. power-to-heat, demand response or interruptible loads, facilitated by digital infrastructure) and in supply (e.g. hydro, gas or certain coal plants) as well as storage (e.g. pumped storage, batteries and other storage technologies). Flexible infrastructure can include transmission and distribution capacity as well as information and communication technology (ICT, e.g. smart meters).
Adequate functioning of the electricity markets and notably a market for flexibility would facilitate market-driven investment as well as efficient utilisation of flexible resources and infrastructure. In light of the electricity market reform launched in the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, this CEPS Task Force seeks to bring together all stakeholders to discuss a ‘market for flexibility’ to identify workable and practical ways forward.

[1] F. Genoese, C. Egenhofer (2015), “Reforming the Market Design of EU Electricity Markets – Addressing the Challenges of a Low-Carbon Power Sector”, CEPS Task Force Report
[2] Eurostat, SHARES 2014 (as of Feb 7, 2017)
[3] COM(2011) 885 final

At the end of the Task Force, we will publish a CEPS Task Force Report that will present policy recommendations. The report will be based on discussions in the meetings, supplemented by research carried out by the rapporteurs. The draft CEPS Task Force Report will be circulated after the second meeting to be discussed and approved by the CEPS Task Force and then published and circulated among EU, member states and international policy makers. The report will contain the general tone and direction of the discussion, but its recommendations do not necessarily reflect a full common position agreed by all members of the Task Force, nor do they necessarily represent the views of the institutions to which the members belong.


Provisional schedule of meetings (subject to modification, depending on the interest of the Task Force Members)

  • First Meeting: April 27, 2017
  • Second Meeting: May 31, 2017
  • Third Meeting: to be determined


  • Jacques de Jong, Senior Fellow at Clingendael International Energy Programme and former Electricity Regulator in the Netherlands


  • Christian Egenhofer, Associate Senior Research Fellow, CEPS
  • Jaap Jansen, Non-Resident Research Fellow
  • Eleanor Drabik, Researcher, CEPS
  • Arndt Hassel, Research Assistant, CEPS


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