Future energy

The democratisation of energy

Energy systems will be turned on their heads in the 2020s as several new technologies approach maturity, and as the world grapples with using them to deal with climate change.

[IMAGE showing centralised models working with one way energy flow]

[IMAGE showing centralised models working with one way energy flow]

[IMAGE showing centralised models failing as DERs are adopted]

[IMAGE showing centralised models failing as DERs are adopted]

[IMAGE showing low buy back rates, inflexible pricing etc leading to slower adoption rate than needed]

[IMAGE showing low buy back rates, inflexible pricing etc leading to slower adoption rate than needed]

Current centralised models of energy supply are not designed to cope with large numbers of decentralised, intermittent energy sources.

The operators of these models face enormous capital investments to avoid system overload as a wave of electric vehicles, solar panels and batteries breaks upon them.

As a result they are resisting the adoption of these technologies, inhibiting our ability to address the urgent problem of climate change.

emhTrade’s goal is to create a market-based platform that solves these problems, unlocking the potential of distributed energy resources to optimise the grid that we have now, rather than having to upgrade it. We call this Transactive Energy.

The Transactive Energy approach

Video of Stu taking about his vision and/or an animated How It Works

We have a vision of a new operating system for energy. One that enables energy to be decentralised, democratised, and decarbonised. This system will enable any individual, and even any internet-connected device, to micro-trade energy through a marketplace on a near-continuous basis.

The prices for these trades will be a result of a co-optimisation process that takes into account generation, distribution and consumption constraints and aims to reward the behaviour that is best for all parties.

We, or other companies, will then build products and services that utilise the platform to save money and save the planet.

Watch our video to see this explained in more detail by our very own Stu Innes, CEO.

New energy experiences

People will interact with energy in very different ways. Automation will make this simple for them, sharing will improve access to new technology even for those less wealthy, and co-optimised energy assets will minimise the environmental and financial costs of energy use. Here are some fictional stories from energy users of the future.

The future of energy is transactive

[IMAGE showing decentralised models successfully powering the planet]

[IMAGE showing decentralised models successfully powering the planet]


Applications

Transactive Energy is fundamentally a genuine platform which provides the marketplace in which device-level energy trading can occur. There are endless potential applications for this, many of which we won’t even have thought of yet. By focusing on the platform we are creating capabilities that can be used by other companies to create their own products and services. Here some possible applications, including one that we are already building ourselves.

[The following is just content drafting, needs to be ‘designed’ to look better]

Solar sharing in connected communities - IN PROGRESS

The problem with solar panels is that often, much of their output gets exported to the grid rather than used by the owner. This is because solar power is generated when its sunny during the day and no-one is at home. The owner doesn’t get paid much for exported power, which means that the payback period on solar panels is long. By arranging groups of properties into energy communities that can share solar panels we can reduce the amount of solar power that is exported, and therefore significantly reduce the payback period on the panels.

emhTrade is currently developing this model. We have released a product called SolarShare Community which is targeted at property developers, body corporate/strata managers, and multi-tenanted non-residential properties such as airports, shopping malls and universities, and allows them to adopt renewable energy faster and create new revenue streams at the same time.

Demand response programmes

The power industry is a constantly performing balancing act between supply and demand. At times it can be desirable to reduce demand in part or all of the grid, either because supply is constrained or because the distribution network is near its capacity. Demand response is the process of requesting (and paying for) this demand reduction from power consumers, and is usually only available to large commercial power users because only they have enough discretionary consumption to make a difference.

With Transactive Energy, and especially with many more energy-consuming devices being connected through IoT, there is the potential for new forms of highly granular demand response. For example, we could have an app that allowed people to register their devices, set comfort boundaries (“Don’t let the temperature go below 18C”, “Have the dishwasher finished by 6pm”) and then allow a third party to influence the power consumption of those devices within those bounds. That third party would be able to sell this capability as demand response to the industry, and share the benefit with the consumer.

Consumer engagement

Consumer facing organisations such as energy retailers are increasingly looking to engage their customers, to improve retention and reduce cost of acquisition. A product that allows them to help their customers be better with energy (whether financially or environmentally) would be of great interest. For example, we could work out which customers were the most profitable (as a result of using power at cheaper times) and then reward these customers for their good behaviour.

Electric vehicle capacity trading

For organisations who run fleets of electric vehicles, there is an opportunity to use the battery capacity of the vehicles for energy trading when they are not in use. Those batteries have the ability to discharging at times of high demand, and charge during times of lower demand. This both helps meet the needs of the energy system, and creates a revenue stream for the organisation, which reduces the payback period for the vehicles and encourages investment in even more EVs. Trading would occur through the Transactive Energy platform, which would manage the EVs behaviours according to pricing signals sent by industry

 

Roadmap

Platform vs Application.jpg