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JRC Smart Electricity Systems

Demand response impact evaluation: A review of methods for estimating the customer baseline load


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Climate neutrality is one of the greatest challenges of our century, and a decarbonised energy system is a key step towards this goal. To this end, the electricity system is expected to become more interconnected, digitalised, and flexible by engaging consumers both through microgeneration and through demand side flexibility. A successful use of these flexibility tools depends widely on the evaluation of their effects, hence the definition of methods to assess and evaluate them is essential for their implementation. In order to enable a reliable assessment of the benefits from participating in demand response, it is necessary to define a reference value (“baseline”) to allow for a fair comparison. Different methodologies have been investigated, developed, and adopted for estimating the customer baseline load. The article presents a structured overview of methods for the estimating the customer baseline load, based on a review of academic literature, existing standardisation efforts, and lessons from use cases. In particular, the article describes and focuses on the different baseline methods applied in some European H2020 projects, showing the results achieved in terms of measurement accuracy and costs in real test cases. The most suitable methodology choice among the several available depends on many factors. Some of them can be the function of the Demand Response (DR) service in the system, the broader regulatory framework for DR participation in wholesale markets, or the DR providers characteristics, and this list is not exclusive. The evaluation shows that the baseline methodology choice presents a trade-off among complexity, accuracy, and cost