Integration With CSIRE – the Biggest Challenge to Poland’s Energy Market Through the Eyes of an Expert 

The energy sector in Poland is currently facing one of the biggest challenges of recent times: the need to prepare for the integration process with the Central System for Information on the Energy Market (Centralny System Informacji Rynku Energii or CSIRE for short). Legal changes in recent years have left electricity distributors and sellers facing complex development processes – by 2024, all energy market participants must be ready to handle mass data exchange within the CSIRE system. 

A New Concept for the Polish Electricity Market 

It is no secret that the energy market requires digitization. This is due to the increasing need to control and monitor processes within customer service systems and manage metering data. Individuals, companies, industry and even legislators are more than ever aware of this and are looking for an efficient and effective way to streamline processes in this market. This “digitization of energy” includes the development of smart grids and “smart” meters, in order to give consumers easy access to their energy consumption data. 

What Does Integration With CSIRE Entail? 

Entities obliged to communicate with CSIRE must integrate their domain systems with the central system. The implemented integration component will act as an intermediary layer for communication: on the one hand, supporting a specific protocol for communication with CSIRE, and on the other hand, communicating in accordance with the standards of a given organization with domain systems. 

The task of the integration component will be to relieve the rest of the organization’s systems from the technical complexity of communicating with CSIRE, leaving them in charge of business processes. The connector is also expected to provide common functionalities, such as the auditing of communications, buffering, and filtering of unnecessary messages. 

Major Challenges Regarding CSIRE 

Under the new approach, the responsibility of energy sellers will essentially remain unchanged and processes will be implemented according to the UC17 regulation.  However, energy market participants must ensure efficient data exchange with CSIRE, with high standards of security, full control, business continuity, reliability and monitoring of all processes.  

A key challenge in this process is undoubtedly the huge scope of data exchange. The high volume of messages – if only from smart energy meters – is a significant challenge when integrating with the CSIRE system. Applications that support this integration should take into account the handling such a volume of messages and allow for scaling. Thus, it is worth choosing a solution with easily configurable vertical as well as horizontal scaling settings, which will make it easier to handle large volumes of data.” – advises Jakub Kazek, New Business Developer for Systems Integration at Unity Group. 

An important issue is that the CSIRE project is still at the stage of selecting a contractor, and thus the full technical specification of the system, including the integration description, is not yet available.  Without this information, it is a challenge to design a suitable connector for the CSIRE system. Fortunately, particular integration technologies, such as MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, facilitate the integration of an organization’s domain systems with a system such as CSIRE, and allow data from domain systems to be collected, aggregated, transformed or mapped and sent to CSIRE in the required format.” – Jakub Kazek adds. 

In addition, the system requires fully auditable messaging, which can prove to be a daunting task, both in terms of the tool and optimizing maintenance costs. It is worth opting for an infrastructure equipped with components capable of meeting this requirement.” – concludes the expert of System Integration 

Complementing the above list with the multitude (about 50) of core processes in the energy market to be implemented through a central system, as well as the relatively short period that the legislator has provided for adapting the systems, the implementation of the new approach turns out to be an extremely challenging task, and it is worth approaching its implementation with an experienced partner. 

How to Prepare for this Change

It is critical for today’s energy market participants to prepare well for the change from a technological point of view, while minimizing the operational burden associated with this project. Organizations obliged to connect to CSIRE have various domain systems that store the necessary data. In the absence of a complete CSIRE specification as of today, and with different system architectures in different organizations, it is hard to talk about ready-made solutions. It is worth approaching each situation on a case-by-case basis and selecting the most optimal solution, with good practices and adequate integration components.

The communication of systems from all energy market participants with CSIRE will often be audited, both internally and by the market regulator. WIth an integration project, therefore, we are talking not only about the integration layer, but also about a tool to support auditors. Given the scale of the project, the deadline by which all obliged entities must be integrated with CSIRE – 01.07.2024, is not far away at all. 

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Jakub Kazek, New Business Developer for IT System Integration

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