The scope of this work is the selection of a framework for deregulated
electricity market communications.
The framework includes a profile of a technical e-business
communication architecture for deregulated electricity markets based on ISO/IEC 14662
Information technology – Open-edi reference model and "standardised
Internet technologies", notably on XML (Extensible Markup Language) of the
W3C (Word Wide Web Consortium) with references to existing or emerging standards
or de-facto-standards for global e-business and methods and examples
of modelling and messages.
It is important to note that the framework does not define standards and only
makes reference to available standards of UN/CEFACT (United Nations/ Centre for
Trade and Electronic Business), W3C and OMG (Object Management Group) or such
supported by UN/CEFCT within the proposed XML architecture.
It supports the communication aspects of e-business applications in
deregulated electricity markets with market participants as customers, traders,
power generators (market view only), power exchanges, metering providers,
balance responsible entities, network operators (market view only), and system
operators (market view only). This aspects deal with messages and services among
businesses (B2B) as well as between businesses and consumers (B2C). For
business-to-consumer exchanges, however, the specifications define only the
services and architecture on the business end, not customer screens or
EDIFACT and XML solutions are evaluated and migration scenarios from
EDIFACT to the proposed XML architecture are provided.
The business operational view includes the market communication aspects of
all applications from trading over supply to balancing planned generation and
consumption (market view only), change of customer and billing. The process
communication of electricity systems for congestion management and ancillary
services management and system monitoring and control are closely related to the
process and therefore out of the scope.
The specific modelling of regional markets with definition of associated
transactions and messages are out of the scope. But methods and tools of
modelling and non-normative examples of core models, processes and messages
which show how the framework might be used are given.
This work does not include the customisation of generic re-usable core
components (models, processes, and messages) for regional markets, but this may
be a future standardisation issue.
Specific aims and reasons
The technical standard architecture for electricity markets is more than just
an exchange format for data and includes (references B.n.n to the Open-edi
reference model ISO/IEC 14662 are given in brackets) a profile with references
to existing or emerging Standards of UN/CEFACT, W3C and OMG:
- A standard mechanism for describing a Business Process and its
associated information model (B.2.2).
- A mechanism for registering and storing Business Process and
Information Meta Models so they can be shared and reused (B.2.3).
- Discovery of information about each participant including:
- The Business Processes they support.
- The Business Service Interfaces they offer in support of the
- The Business Messages that are exchanged between their respective
Business Service Interfaces.
- The technical configuration of the supported transport, security
and encoding protocols.
- A mechanism for registering the above mentioned information so that it
may be discovered and retrieved (B.3.2, B.3.3).
- A mechanism for describing the execution of a mutually agreed upon
business arrangement which can be derived from information provided by each
participant from item 3 above.
- A standardised business Messaging Service framework that enables
interoperable, secure and reliable exchange of Messages between e-business
Partners (B.3.1, B.3.2).
- A standardised business Transport Service framework (B.3.2).
- A standardised security framework for Integrity, Signature,
Authentication, confidentiality and authorisation that can be applied using
customised profiles (B.4).
- A mechanism for configuration of the respective Messaging Services to
engage in the agreed upon Business Process in accordance with the
constraints defined in the business arrangement.
- A migration path from the EDIFACT environment and messages to the XML
With the transition of monolithic electricity supply structures to
deregulated electricity markets the function of the markets depend heavily on
seamless e-business communication between market participants.
Today EDIFACT messages or propriety HTML and XML solutions based on internet
technologies are used. With the advent of global e-business standards by UN/CEFACT
based on internet technologies an electricity market specific profile of this
standards can be used for regional electricity markets allowing the re-use of
proven core components and communication platforms cross markets saving cost and
time of implementation.
The electricity market specific framework is feasible because it will be
based on ongoing standardisation efforts of UN/CEFACT and OASIS (Organization
for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards ) with the ebXML
architecture for global e-business. This arcitecture uses internet technologies
(see http://www.ebxml.org and http://www.unece.org/cefact/
(see XML initiative))
and has already big industry support. EbXML is a modular suite of specifications
that enables enterprises of any size and in any geographical location to conduct
business over the Internet. Using ebXML, companies now have a standard method to
exchange business messages, conduct trading relationships, communicate data in
common terms and define and register business processes. To a great extent ebXML
references already existing standards from W3C and OMG. Development and
implementation is going on. All other XML initiatives on the market are not
taken into account because they are propriety solutions with no backing of a
global standardization body.
Backed by UN/CEFACT and OASIS, ebXML offers a framework that will become an
international standard, most likely under the auspices of UN/CEFACT, one of the
four de jure standards bodies in the world. Even before ebXML becomes a formal
standard, it will likely become a de facto standard as industry groups,
individual trading partners and e-business solution providers adopt it.
It is expected that, parallel to the standardisation of ebXML as a product
standard, UN/CEFACT and OASIS will also standardize horizontal core components
of industry business models and of XML message schemas and messages which may be
used for the electricity market. These core components will be stored in a
The standardization base is up to date and has industry-wide acceptance. The
business operational view is clearly separated from the functional service view
(IT and communication) and the latter is decoupled from the transport system
(HTTP, FTP, SMTP). This separation allows in future technological changes
without impact on the total architecture.
Urgency of activity
Deregulated electricity markets have existed for more than a decade but have
developed on a fast world-wide scale for only a couple of years. This market
needs a specific framework for e-business and migration from EDIFACT or
propriety XML solutions to standardised XML messaging. For this reason the
framework should be ready in 2002 by the latest.
With the framework the dramatic increase of transaction effort in deregulated
markets can be lowered significantly while at the same time speeding up the
transactions for the benefit of customers and suppliers.
The framework allows market participants to use globally agreed standards
with re-use of core components and communication platforms integrated into their
specific environment. The harmonisation effort in big regions consisting of many
countries to standardise electricity market communication is lowered a great
deal with reference to the intended framework. Vendors are able to implement
standardised solutions cross industries in a less costly way and have better
means to secure the quality of there implementations.
Protocol and message conversions can be avoided.
Without an international agreed electricity market specific framework
propriety solutions may be implemented without cross sharing of experience, core
components and platforms leading potentially to higher cost and lower quality of
The use of ebXML as a basis ensures the flexibility, modularity, ease of
implementation and international acceptance that is required.
Regulation and harmonisation
The framework is subject to legal and security aspects of e-business and
electricity market rules which may be different from country to country or
region to region.
The market modelling depends on the market rules of the country or region. A
incomplete list may include the legal and regulatory framework, technical market
rules (network access, balance management, schedule management, congestion
management), identification schemas of market participants and e-business
objects, metering rules (service and access to metering values), grid rules
(operation), distribution rules (operation), load profiles (synthetic and
analytical). The model has to comply with these rules and must include all
market participants and transactions to allow seamless communication.