The e-harbours showcases make clear that households, small enterprises and local organizations, when combined, can act as a large end consumer and thus provide a massive amount of flexibility. This flexibility can be made available to the grid in a profitable way – when organisational and juridical problems can be overcome. The canal cruise companies in Amsterdam have a clear business case in hands, when they can forge a coalition with network owners to integrate the battery capacity of the ships in the local power grid.
Which barriers prevent the provision of flexibility by households and small enterprises? Two major issues: – Can small users get access to energy markets? In fact this concerns the definition of a private network (can prosumers trade energy within a predefined private grid, without paying taxes and network costs?).
– Will governments impose an energy-taxing system that supports flexibility? A flat-rate tax does not enhance the flexible use of energy.