02 Oct 2017


Flexibility provided by multi energy carrier integration



October 2017 to March 2021


MAGNITUDE’s goal was to identify potential flexibility options coming from synergies between the electricity, heating, cooling and gas networks, supporting the cost-effective integration of variable renewable energy sources (vRES) and the decarbonisation of the energy system.

MAGNITUDE built seven real life case studies of multi-energy systems, located in Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom, under different regulatory and geopolitical environments and with different technological development levels. More specifically the main objectives of MAGNITUDE were to:

1. Simulate the multi-energy systems in the case studies and optimise their operation strategies maximising the provision of specific flexibility services;

2. Propose improved market designs from existing regulations and integrate them in a market simulation platform for evaluating its performance among the case study countries;

3. Quantify the benefit of pooling flexibilities from decentralised multi-energy systems for energy markets through an aggregation platform.

Figure 1 presents MAGNITUDE Concept working mechanism, that provides flexibility options to support variable Renewable Energy Sources and enhances the security of supply.

Magnitude Fig. 1.png

Figure 1-Multi energy systems MAGNITUDE scheme


The MAGNITUDE project has developed a whole chain of optimization and coordination tools, as well as business and market mechanisms, to provide flexibility to the European electricity system, by optimizing the synergies between electricity, gas, heating and cooling systems.

The chosen case studies for MAGNITUDE project  represent a complete spectrum of “cross-sector” technologies found today and entail most representative system configurations in Europe’s heating and cooling sectors, as well as important and representative energy consumption/production facilities among electricity, heating and gas networks. 

The map in Figure 2 shows the location of the 7 case studies in Europe, namely:

  • Mälarenergi in Sweden,
  • a Paper Mill in Austria,
  • Hofor in Denmark,
  • ACS in Italy,
  • Neath Port Talbot in the United Kingdom,
  • EMUASA in Spain,
  • Paris Saclay in France.
Magnitude Fig 22.png

Figure 2 - Map of Europe with marked demo cases

The project results confirmed that Multi-energy Systems (MES) can provide flexibility to support the integration of Renewable Energy Sources in the electricity system and to contribute to decarbonization of energy system. Figure 3 presents an example of flexibility provision through fuel shifting.

Magnitude Fig. 3.png

Figure 3 - Example of flexibility provision in MES

MESs have potential to participate in energy markets, frequency ancillary service procurement, congestion management and capacity requirement mechanisms. But this strongly depends on technologies involved in the MES, the process and operation strategies.

Policy recommendations:

  • Aggregation of Multi-Energy Systems enables participation to energy markets
  • There is a need for harmonisation of EU electricity markets
  • New frameworks are needed for collaboration between different actors
  • Novel business models can promote energy integration 


The project is coordinated by EDF and the consortium brings together 16 partners from 9 European countries (France, Austria, UK, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany) with the following profiles:

  • Industrial organisations: EDF, ENGINEERING INGEGNERIA INFORMATICA , A2A Calore & Servizi
  • Research organisations: VITO, RSE, EIFER
  • International association: Euroheat & Power.


Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Useful resources:

Final public Workshop presentation can be downloaded here

Scientific article about MES flexibility modelling can be downloaded here

Policy Recommendations can be downloaded here