Event — Paris, France

IEA and ISGAN workshop: Flexibility for resilience in integrated systems

Background information

Climate change directly affects every segment of the electricity system, altering generation potential and efficiency, testing physical resilience of transmission and distribution networks with rising sea levels and extreme weather events,, and changing demand patterns, including through more variable heat and cold patterns, which will add significant challenges to the resilience of electricity systems. In this context, power systems need to become both more flexible and more resilient to be able to adapt to sharp drops in generation or increases in demand, as well as to withstand, recover from and adapt to the impact of severe events.

At the same time, power system decarbonisation combined with end-use electrification could lead electricity demand to rise by 45% by 2050 if efforts are made to meet net zero emissions (IEA Net Zero by 2050 Scenario). These trends are driving the deployment of higher shares of variable renewables, which require increased flexibility to be integrated into power systems. The IEA net-zero scenario sees the need for flexibility increase fourfold by 2050, with batteries and demand response becoming the first sources of flexibility. Electrification and a shift towards more distributed energy resources will create both new issues and new opportunities for resilience in power systems, encompassing the whole spectrum from the design, planning and investment stage to operation and maintenance of systems, as well as asset management. 

About the event

ISGAN and IEA’s Digital Demand-Driven Electricity Networks (3DEN) Initiative are co-organising the international high-level expert workshop “Flexibility for resilience in integrated systems” to enhance international collaboration and research, share best practices and provide policy guidance on deploying flexibility for resilience.

This workshop will gather international experts to present and discuss how innovative flexibility services can be developed to support grid operation with high penetration of renewable energy sources, bringing evidence from ongoing analysis and successful projects. It will also discuss how these services can be integrated in the investment planning stage, thus building up resilience to future-proof power systems in the long-term.

A particular focus will be on emerging economies and developing countries. Oftentimes being the most affected by severe events, there is an opportunity to build in resilience while still expanding and developing their power systems in line with growing electricity demand, rather than having to retrofit existing assets.

The workshop will feature interventions by IEA, ISGAN, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU, Research Institute of Sweden RISE, ENTSO-E, ETIP SNET, the Austrian Institute of Technology AIT, regulatory agencies, think-tanks and other organisations working on this topic.

During the workshop we will:

i)             Discuss the societal transformation where a new generation of stakeholders will provide power flexibility services for the grid, and its importance for energy policy and regulation, based on the findings of the 2022 ISGAN WG6/ETIP-SNET white paper How can flexibility support resilience?

ii)            Explore best practices and innovative approaches for leveraging active demand side flexibility.

iii)           Provide input to advance key policy messages related to the nexus of flexibility, resilience and digitalisation.

iv)           Identify synergies and possibilities for future international collaboration, including through IEA and ISGAN and interested partners.

The IEA gratefully acknowledges the Italian Ministry for Ecological Transition for their support for this expert workshop as part of their contributions to IEA’s Digital Demand Driven Electricity Networks (3DEN) Initiative on power system modernisation and effective utilisation of demand side resources through digitalisation and to the Clean Energy Transitions Programme