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Laura's core role is to lead projects and research into electricity networks, flexibility and energy storage, working across Delta-EE's consultancy and Flexibility Research Service teams. She's managed projects on behalf of a wide range of companies, including DSOs and TSOs, aggregators, utilities and the public sector, covering both strategy and project implementation. She is an experienced modeller, with strong expertise in techno-economic analysis, energy systems modelling and business model development. She is based in Delta-EE's Edinburgh office.

Prior to joining Delta-EE, she worked at the Carbon Trust as part of the Low Carbon Cities and Innovation departments, delivering projects on carbon management and heat and electricity networks. She has a first-class MSci in Natural Sciences from Durham University.

The murky world of flexibility platforms

The word ‘platform’ is one of the biggest energy business buzz words of the 21st century. Across the energy industry everyone has been talking about them, developing them (or being told they need to develop one) and the demand side flexibility space is no exception to this. But what do we even mean by ‘platform’? Do all these flexibility platforms do the same thing? And if not, how do they fit together?

In the last few months, the Flexibility Research team has been looking in depth at the murky world of platforms to answer these questions. There’s been no simple answers, but through discussions with contacts across the sector we’ve developed a framework of four types of platforms and their capabilities. Whilst it’s still early stages, there are examples of each of these platforms interacting with each other to cover the full demand side flexibility value chain.

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The Business of Being an Aggregator

We’re at a tipping point in how electricity systems are balanced. Traditionally, supply and demand have been matched by turning large power plants up and down, with the occasional very large industrial customer, like a steel works, containing its demand to help balance the system. But over the last ten years we’ve seen a new breed of businesses – aggregators – bringing together hundreds and thousands of distributed assets to help the electricity systems stay balanced.

We’ve seen more and more aggregators emerging as markets have opened to distributed portfolios, with more than 70 appearing across Europe. Delta-ee Director Jon Slowe suggests “we are past the tipping point of this being a distinct sector in the energy market and there will be lots more action and development over the next years”.

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