VITO Energy Interoperability of future energy markets

Interoperability for the electricity markets of the future

Now that the use of renewable energy sources within our electricity network is on the rise, there is a greater demand nowadays for new technologies and processes that enable those energy sources to be integrated within the existing model. Interoperability forms a crucial challenge with regard to the energy market of tomorrow.

Our changing energy market

The energy market is undergoing a period of substantial change. Whereas in the past, production was following the demand, the situation has now reversed – demand has to follow production. We are also witnessing an irreversible trend towards decentralisation and the distribution of control.


The consequences of these developments are significant - flexibility in energy consumption is becoming a marketable commodity; opportunities to develop new, (local) energy markets are emerging and there is a global need for new business models and market regulation.

EnergyVille is examining ways in which the electricity network can be run in a stable and cost-effective manner, taking into account the significant availability of all manner of renewable energy sources and the various actors that are active in this new area.

In order to achieve this, there is a need for intelligent control mechanisms, backed by robust ICT systems, coupled with a raft of agreements between the various stakeholders, such as energy companies, network managers, end-users etc.

Active in European research projects

EnergyVille is a centre of excellence that focuses upon energy-related research that bridges the gap between fundamental research on the one hand and the needs of industry on the other. We are part of the European EERA group researching Smart Grids and within that group, we are taking the lead in the Control Systems and ICT Interoperability and Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts sub-programmes.

We are also extremely active in the international ETSAP network (Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program of the International Energy Agency). That network is responsible for the maintaining the MARKAL/TIMES energy modelling software.

EnergyVille focuses upon:

  • scenario-analyses of future energy systems
  • mechanisms for new electricity markets
  • multi-agent business modelling (value chain)
  • optimisation of controllers

To the greatest extent possible, we set out to examine interoperability issues in a holistic way, focusing upon the technological aspects, as well as upon the economic and social aspects.

EnergyVille's added value

EnergyVille has the capability to contribute towards your strategic energy projects, by providing a stable framework that guarantees that your new developments will be of a high quality and are based on a broad scientific foundation.

By means of the EnergyVille Business Affiliation Program on Smart Grid Architectures (EBAP-SGA), we bring industrial partners together at relevant levels within the electricity eco-system, so that it is possible to discuss interoperability issues together. Within this open program, which focuses upon technology and market design, we act as an independent, neutral expert and mediator.

Steven Van Deun