Blockchain in the energy sector is moving forward - Key takeaways from the EventHorizon 2018

The EventHorizon 2018 was a spectacular show but at the same time a worthwhile information session on the status quo of blockchain applications for the energy sector. Although there are no solutions market-ready yet, the different initiatives have taken first crucial steps to come closer to real applications. Especially the pitches from more than 40 startups provided some nice examples of what could become possible with the Energy Web Chain. The EWF itself provided first examples of dApps (like Origin and D3A) for the energy sector. The progress that the ecosystem of blockchain in the energy sector has made within the last 12 months is remarkable and makes us confident that we will see more applications than concepts at the next EventHorizon 2019!  

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German Electricity Market in 2017 – records for battery storage and redispatch

TenneT published its market report for Germany and the Netherlands and provides some very interesting insights:  While wholesale prices increased, power plant operators were facing decreasing revenues close or below zero. The first tenders for renewable generation reached low subsidy-levels below 7€cent/kWh and the market utility-scale battery storage seemed to take-off, but remains a rather small market for now. Redispatch in Germany reached a new record, which lead to costs of more than 1 billion for TenneT alone.

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Shaking up the German Energy market – the Eon and RWE deal

On 12th March 2018 E.on and RWE made public that they will exchange resources to form two more focused companies. E.on will sell its renewable generation business to RWE and will in exchange receive the network and retail business from Innogy, a subsidiary of RWE. Thereby, E.on will become the dominant player in network and retail business in Germany, while RWE will be the largest German generation company. What does this mean for the energy transition and innovation related to distributed energy systems? 

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The German energy sector in 2016 – Competition gains, but digitalization…

How did the German electricity sector develop in 2016? This question is answered by the annual monitoring report by the Federal Network Agency in Germany (BNetzA). In this post we summarize the key findings of this report: Competition in generation and retail still on the rise, gas power plants the big winner 2016, renewable capacity increased, but production remained stable and wholesale prices dropped again. 

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Blockchain in the energy sector – three takeaways from the EUW2017

At the European Utility Week 2017 and the side event EMART2017 blockchain was among the most discussed topics. For us, three events at the EUW2017 & EMART 2017 were especially remarkable: enerchains first live-trade of electricity and gas, the launch of the test network of the Energy Web Foundation & Grid Singularity as well as the initiate! Startup Award for electron. In this post we discuss the steps taken at the EUW17 by these projects. 

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Blockchain: The basis for disruptive innovation in the energy sector?

The potential for an application of blockchain technology is one of the most discussed topics in the energy sector at the moment. Though blockchain technology is often described as a disruptive technology, we stress in this post that blockchain is a fundamental technology that provides the basis for new applications that in the future might become disruptive innovations in the energy sector.  

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Disruptive innovation in the energy sector – definition & application to renewables

Disruptive innovations are supposed to destroy established business models in different markets. For the energy sector, the debate is heating up to which extend certain technologies (e.g. renewables or battery storage) & new digital applications (e.g. AI or blockchain) might disrupt the business case of energy utilities. With this post we provide a basis for this discussion. We built on the definition of disruptive innovation by Christensen and apply this theory to renewables to show that they are actually disruptive for the incumbent energy businesses. 

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Asset- vs. Service-based Business Models – Where Lies The Future For Utilities?

In Germany, E.on and RWE (innogy) separated their core business units into two different companies and it became inherent that utilities have to change their business strategy to survive in a future distributed energy system. Now, what do the two strategies of Innogy and E.on tell us about the future of the utility business in general? In the following we will present to you different business models that have been introduced by PWC (2014). We will try to show how the current strategies of E.on and Innogy fit into this framework.

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Digital platforms in the energy sector – definition & first applications

Digital platforms are on the rise in many sectors. Currently, the question is raised which role digital platforms could play in the energy sector, especially in distributed systems based on renewable energies.  However, there seems to be no clear understanding of what a platform or a platform market acually is. Therefore, we provide a definition of platforms and platform markets and discuss some potential applications of these in the energy sector.

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Regional Flexibility Markets in Germany - Quota vs. Market Models

Regional flexibility markets are widely discuss to tackle three issues: First, distributed generators and consumption should be able to provide flexibility to network operators. Second, other market parties should get access to flexibility as well to develop new market products and thereby increase the value of distributed generation and reduce the costs of the energy transition. Third, DSOs and TSOs should coordinate their balancing activities. In this post we introduce the current discussion in Germany how to organize regional flexibility provision.

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Regional Flexibility Markets – A European view on the TSO-DSO interface

Decentralization is one important aspect of the energy transition. Decentralization drives the need for more coordination between TSO and DSO to secure grid stability. Regional flexibility markets might be one solution to establish efficient coordination between the network operators, the network users and market parties. We discuss in this post 5 concepts that are discussed right now in Europe. 

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The Coordination Problem: A key challenge for Smart Grids

Coordination between distributed generation and the network operators is becoming a key issue for the energy transition. With smart grids, the complexity of the coordination issue is increasing. What is the coordination problem, how does it relate to liberalization and why is it becoming a pressing issue for smart grids?  

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