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When presenting this question to product managers, engineers, and business developers in market leading companies in the European energy sector, I discovered a world of potential for many different applications; not only in remote areas where they would normally be implemented but also in grid connected spaces with operational needs to be fulfilled.
I learned how complex microgrids can be, especially if based on intermittent renewable energy sources. But I also discovered how flexible they could be and how they could help the wider energy system that is becoming increasingly challenged both by generation connected at low voltage levels and new demands for electricity for heating and mobility.
Delta-EE has been looking at blockchain for a while now but, despite the hype, has so far found little evidence that it is making any significant contribution to new energy.
So why is there so much hype around blockchain?
Last week I wrote about the opportunity for energy communities to fund the green transition, based on the belief that there is a vast amount of consumer savings just waiting to be tapped into.
A lot has happened since then.
Electric vehicles with bidirectional charging, ‘everything as a service’, demand side flexibility and hydrogen are just some of the innovations long predicted by the energy experts who helped shape and integrate them. The emergence of energy communities, however, happened more quickly. In the space of just a few months, they became the new hot topic of new energy. But how did this happen, and what does it mean for the future energy system, especially within the context of a world in needs of a good health and economic recovery strategy?
We could argue that it all started with the two European directives (the Renewable Energy Directive for Renewable Energy Communities, and the Electricity Market Directive for Citizen Energy Communities) giving energy communities unprecedented rights. But giving credit where credit is due, these two directives are the results of energy communities, represented by the European cooperative REScoop, demonstrating to the European Commission that they have an essential role to play in the energy transition. Energy communities argued as well that every single person in Europe has the inherent right to take ownership of such a fundamental matter and yield benefits from it.
Don’t get caught out by thinking this is something for the future. It’s happening now. Local optimisation of supply and demand is on the rise, and will accelerate. In this blog I set out the five reasons why.
If you agree with these, and you are in the active in the energy value chain, you need to take an active position on what this means for your business. There is a whole host of start-ups and companies from outside the traditional utility sector (as well as your traditional competitors) starting to target the opportunities arising from localisation of energy.
With the continuing reduction of subsidies for new renewable generation across Europe, new business models for prosumers are paramount if we are to maintain the levels of growth we have seen so far.
I recently attended a virtual workshop on redesigning the future of prosumer business models. As part of the workshop there was a discussion around our local energy system vision for 2050: in an ideal world what would local, decentralised energy look like in 2050? This prompted a range of ideas to be discussed ranging from technology advancement to new regulations incentivising decentralised energy. This conversation has allowed me to reflect on a few key aspects that I believe will lead to successful local energy systems by 2050.
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