Utility company embraces full-scale innovation
Göteborg Energi works closely with three of the partners to get the marketplace settled. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden create the market design and business models, Ericsson develops the software of the smart control systems and Chalmers University of Technology does the simulations.
Individual solutions with local energy production and more renewable energy is a trend. Why does a utility company engage in a project like FED? Won’t it risk to lose a lot of customers if FED becomes a success and replicates?
As a utility company, we provide common district heating and distribute electric energy. With FED we want to explore how we can offer our customers more renewable production and what role we have in a changed energy landscape.
Energy efficiency has been on the agenda at Göteborg Energi for many years. Combined with a higher level of digitalization and more renewable energy, the FED system, which allows a local marketplace for three energy carriers, is spot on. The innovation height lies in the marketplace.
Except cut carbon emissions the incentive for us is to examine how FED will contribute to the congestion management, since more renewable energy in the system makes it more volatile.
But how is that unique marketplace going to work? How can a market participant sell its excess solar energy? Detailed use cases are being made. A so-called agent will be crucial and the intelligent part of the system.
The agent will calculate how it should act on the market. It will get signals from a market participant, for example a battery for energy storage, and add information about weather conditions and energy prices to make a bid.
Many components will be involved and communication between interfaces is essential. In the end, the marketplace is of course going to work automatically.
Flexibility is one of the key words within FED. In this case, flexibility means that you can switch between different energy carriers depending on production and price. You can also decide when to buy energy. For example, an overproduction of renewable electric energy could contribute to the district heating system.
One of the challenges is to find incentives for the energy trade to take place, to find the right value for demand and response.
The business models will look different depending on what issue we address. We are still discussing the details of the payment part of the system, says Erika, who finds it both interesting, challenging and fun to co-create with her partners.
Text & photo: Pia Schmidtbauer, Communications Specialist