FAN and USEF Join To Develop Standards

FAN and USEF are to jointly develop standards for the emerging two-way energy markets.
Published: Mon 17 Nov 2014

With the combined strengths of FAN (Flexiblepower Alliance Network) and USEF (Universal Smart Energy Framework) millions of consumers are expected to be empowered to become active on local and national energy markets.

Their aim is to enable low-volume energy users to become both producers and consumers, actively participating in the future energy system.

Flexibility for the energy market

The USEF Foundation was established in September 2014 with the mission to offer a future-proof framework for the development of smart energy products, services and solutions.

FAN was established in October 2012 to develop the Powermatcher smart energy management standard, which was pioneered in the Hoogkerk Powermatching City project.

FAN is a communication layer between devices and energy services. On the one hand, appliances indicate the minimum amount of energy they need to operate properly. On the other hand, energy services can work out when the circumstances are ideal for energy use (depending on e.g. the weather forecast and energy price). FAN helps to use the available energy as smartly and flexibly as possible.

Both FAN and USEF share the same aim of unleashing the power of flexibility for the energy market and providing key components for large scale implementations of smart energy systems. By aligning their market vision and design philosophy, the solutions of FAN and USEF become complementary. This results in the first market ready solution that allows cost efficient solutions for demand response for the SME and residential mass market. It enables third parties to develop future proof demand response and energy management applications.

Developing the framework for smart energy solutions development

While the MoU is between FAN and USEF with multiple partners, Alliander and Stedin are core members of both alliances. The technology and standards have been developed independently, but are complementary. Therefore, the partnership provides benefits to the users and adopters of the technologies.

FAN and USEF said there appears to be a trend for current national distribution grids to transform into a unified, fully bi-directional system because of the integration of decentralized and variable renewable energy production. The active participation of low-volume energy consumers as both producers and consumers will have a major impact on the entire energy ecosystem. Unleashing the potential of energy management applications such as demand response ensures that the overall energy system is kept reliable and affordable while making the transition to a sustainable system.

Current approaches to integrating new applications and technologies do not address the fact that the current energy value chain was designed using a top-down approach both for the technical system and the energy markets. It was not designed with a two-way traffic in mind, and it is unprepared for the introduction of new market roles such as prosumers, energy service companies and aggregators.

Close cooperation between all the parties active in the energy distribution system, including the industries that provide innovative energy products, services and solutions, is essential to transform it into a modern, integrated system that meets the needs of all the stakeholders in the energy value chain.