Posted by Jack Rawcliffe – 07.03.19
Managing Director of our Energy & Renewables brand, JD Ross Energy, has looked into the key ways in which tech energy start-ups might be able to influence the future outlook of the energy market today. Have a read to hear his thoughts...
Digital technology has had a profound impact on the rate of development within the energy market. Innovative new tools have equipped energy industry professionals with more information to analyse and predict the most efficient processes for their business. Many industry experts believe digital technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart data are critical to facilitate the continued growth and progress within the energy market.
Creating projects that use energy more efficiently is a key priority for new and innovative products. Integrating digital technology not only provides the necessary data, analysis and tools to deliver the highest level of efficiency within the industry but also results in a reduction in costs directly connected with energy production and generation. Opus Talent Solutions explore the rise of new technology and how startup businesses are developing new tools to transform the energy market this year.
A selection of aggregation models are being studied within Europe and all could have a significant impact on improving the viability of residential storage. In the UK, innovative battery developer, Moixa has created a ‘Gridshare’ scheme enabling customers to receive money in return for allowing a company to manage their batteries and supporting in balancing the grid. Gridshare uses the ‘smart brain’ within each Moixa battery, measuring the stored energy or available capacity for each user.
Transmission system operator, TenneT is researching ways to combine flexible capacity developed from an electric vehicle into the grid. Dutch green energy company, Vandebron is developing a pilot project allowing electric vehicle owners to use their available batteries to support TenneT in maintaining the grid. The project has been heralded due to utilising blockchain technology to create a highly responsive system. For this project, blockchain measures, the availability in each car battery, records its action and contribution in response to grid operator signals. The technology means batteries are only used for a few seconds at a time, providing an accurate response to fluctuations in the grid, with little impact on customers charging their vehicles.
TenneT has also collaborated with German battery provider, Sonnen Group to create a blockchain-driven network of residential solar batteries. Founded by Christoph Ostermann and Torsten Stiefenhofer, Sonnen creates and manufacturers integrated sonnenBatterie smart energy storage systems.
The company is committed to providing clean, efficient and affordable energy for all, offering a range of system sizes for residential, agricultural and commercial dwellings. Progression in digital technology means energy customers can participate more so in the energy market. Some businesses are now offering blockchain enabled peer to peer trading systems, allowing complete sharing of both stored and generated energy between customers and businesses.
Startup energy supplier, Bulb, offers 100% renewable energy and gas to households within the UK. Founded by Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood, the business is focused on making energy greener, simpler and cheaper. Energy analysts believe 2019 will be a crucial year for the business as they have set themselves a goal of delivering one million new customers, on top of their existing one million users. It seems their key selling point is the overall switching process enabling customers to quickly change to a more efficient and cheaper form of energy, all in a simplistic process.
Innovative projects are being created worldwide, across developed and developing regions. Even in smaller nations, households can now trade small quantities of clean energy with others via blockchain platforms and microgrids. New projects are showing a growth towards energy ‘cloud systems’ where energy can be shared and traded on demand without requiring an intermediary.
Only a few years ago, the concept of aggregating battery systems to provide grid services or energy trading seemed unlikely. Progression in digital technology, however, has accelerated the potential benefits within the battery market and continued to improve overall performance and cost.
Digital technology and innovation have already proven to yield significant results for the energy market. Improvements in data availability, insights and analytics have enabled energy operators to measure fluctuations in energy generation, identify any faults and predict potential problems before they occur. As a result, energy efficiency levels have improved and costs have continued to decline.
Energy industry startups are consistently under pressure to create innovative technologies to continue adapting their business models. The future is now looking further towards decentralised energy solutions that are digitally driven, environmentally conscious and carbon-free. Emerging technologies such as AI, IoT and Big Data will play a significant role in this movement.
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Posted by Jack Rawcliffe – 07.03.19