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Innovative BiTraDER project awarded funding through Ofgem's Network Innovation Competition

In 2022, Delta-EE is delighted to be commencing work on the innovative BiTraDER project, which has a total cost of £8.4 million, as a project partner to Electricity North West, Electron and AFRY Management Consulting.

The innovative BiTraDER project to investigate and trial options for a bilateral trading market was awarded funding through Ofgem’s Network Innovation Competition. 

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Energy insights: how much commercial value does it generate?

Where’s the money? How big is the economic opportunity? These are the most frequent questions I get asked about energy consumption data, or ‘energy insights’. These are simple and important questions to ask but has been a challenge to give a confident response to. Customers enjoy better understanding, control, and reduction of their energy use. The economic value to energy retailers or other parties is less clear.

We can point to the potential value streams, using logic and results from small pilot studies. Yet, until now we haven’t had the evidence base from a range of strong case studies to support this reasoning. We were not alone. We surveyed industry contacts with a remit for energy insights in summer 2021. The findings showed that solid evidence is rare amongst European energy retailers. This is understandable as the market is still developing. Instead, energy companies use customer benefit, business metrics like customer churn, and smart meter rollout progress to influence investment decisions. The survey results highlighted the need for evidence to shape industry views and inform decision making. So that’s what we set out to uncover.

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The evolution of residential network tariffs in Europe - the opinion of energy experts

Historically, network tariffs job has been to finance the maintenance, upgrade and operation of the electricity grid. However, as the energy transition unfolds, tariffs are starting to have another job as an additional instrument for DSOs (distribution system operators, also known as distribution network operators) to operate the electricity grid by influencing consumers’ consumption. At Delta-EE, we see three ways for DSOs to untap the flexibility potential from customers, with tariffs being one of them. The additional two refer to participating in flexibility markets or direct control of customers assets.

This process is being reflected in the revision of residential network use of system charges in different countries. Part of this transition looks at fine-tuning established tariff schemes as fixed or a static time-of-use (where electricity retailers are charged differently at different times of the day to use the distribution network).

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Thoughts on new buildings in England requiring EV chargers from 2022

From next year, new homes and buildings will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points. Here are my 10 thoughts, comments and questions in response to the news that all new homes and buildings in England will have an EV charger from next year:

1. Before it became clear earlier this year that these new rules would come into effect, we forecast that ~315k new home chargepoints (wallboxes) would be installed in the UK during 2022.

2. The UK government has said that they expect up to 145k additional chargepoints to be installed (in England) as a result of this legislation. Let’s assume that 120k of these are in homes.

3. If all of these ‘extra’ chargers are installed as soon as next year, this will increase the UK home chargepoint market by 38% versus the ‘no new legislation’ scenario.

4. In reality, these 120k additional chargers are unlikely to ‘kick in’ during next year. It typically takes 2 years – and often longer – to go from receiving planning permission to a completed building. So, permits granted in 2022 will not normally result in new homes until 2024 or later. (My understanding is that for buildings with existing planning permission, this new chargepoint legislation will not be retrospectively applied – but please comment below if you know differently!)

5. This legislation will result in a large number of home chargepoints being installed where there are no EVs – at least to begin with. Currently, only ~2.5% of UK households have 1 or more EVs. When this legislation takes effect, the large majority of wallboxes will not be in use. Is this really an efficient deployment of infrastructure?

6. With the ongoing semi-conductor shortage, and growing lead times for wallboxes (& countless other products), this will put extra pressure on UK supply chains. Will we have a situation where there are lots of idle wallboxes in new builds while EV owners can’t get hold of the products they need?

7. Housing developers are renowned for pursuing cheapest possible compliance – and who could blame them? Can we be sure that the wallboxes that are installed in new build developments are going to be ‘fit for purpose’ in 3/5/7 years’ time when they might finally be required?

8. Large housing developers – e.g. Barratt, Taylor Wimpey – will presumably be placing large orders. Will this result in lucrative contracts for the successful wallbox suppliers or a major distraction and a ‘race to the bottom’ on prices?

9. In the years ahead, the home wallbox market will continue to grow and grow, and the legislation will gradually reduce in impact. But by 2025, it may still account for an additional 20% of wallboxes being installed.

10. Will we see other European countries introduce similar legislation? You can be sure that policy makers across the continent will be closely monitoring the impacts…

If you would like to discuss the announcement further, or are interested in EV charging research, get in touch.

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The New Energy Letter: November 2021

Amongst the talk of targets, commitments and roadmaps, we must make room to talk with consumers

Technology clearly plays a central role in the energy transition even at the end of the supply chain, from decarbonising homes and transport to increasing and optimising green electricity generation and storage. But we often forget that consumers will play an equally important role. After all, it’s their experiences, confidence and ultimately choices that will largely determine the speed and scale of the drive to residential net zero.​

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A new energy response to the new energy crisis

There’s a famous saying, “never let a crisis go to waste”. The current energy crisis – while having a terrible impact on many customers – gives the energy sector a golden opportunity to get in shape for the energy transition.

The crisis, being felt to different degrees across Europe, is a consequence of several unrelated factors happening at the same time. Global demand for gas has picked up rapidly, some gas and power facilities have been offline, gas storage levels were lower than normal, and weather conditions resulted in low output from renewables.

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