A blog by Shaun Ankers, Energy One Group CEO
The news is being dominated by climate change and the need to reduce emissions. The solution is a ‘Net Zero’ economy, and renewable electricity will be at its core.
At Energy One, we have been providing software for renewable energy for many years. What’s changed is the evolution and rapid expansion of these energy suppliers. As electricity markets decarbonise, they are decentralising and fragmenting, creating new market segments – this means fewer large generators and more distributed energy resources.
Exploring the challenges of renewable energy generation
Renewables by their very nature pose challenges to grid stability. Renewable energy is intermittent, geographically diverse and smaller in scale. This leads to reverse flows in distribution networks, negative demand and more variability in grid dynamics. The result is increased market volatility, complexity in managing grid stability and sometimes regulatory oversight and compliance.
With energy markets becoming increasingly complex, volatile and data intensive, larger volumes of energy participants will require sophisticated software to operate effectively in national energy markets.
However, scheduling distributed energy generation in national grids cannot easily be done with software alone. The market operators (TSOs) of many power markets require grid-connected generators to have a phone number with a person on the other end, should they need to intervene at short notice to modify plant characteristics rapidly; all to ensure the real-time security and stability of the grid.
Given the smaller size of distributed energy resources, it is often uneconomical for operators to man 24/7 control rooms to schedule or dispatch energy and meet regulatory compliance obligations. At the same time, complexity and volatility in energy markets is increasing.
This means we believe a larger number of renewable generators require advanced software AND a service provider to operate effectively and efficiently in national energy markets.
This is where Energy One can help.
Offering a solution for renewable energy generation
Accessing wholesale markets is made a lot easier through a service provider. Using an easy-to-consume service takes away some of the headaches experienced by renewable generation companies, such as:
- Providing a broad supervisory overlay
- Hiring a trading team
- Managing a 24/7 control room
- Meeting regulatory and compliance hurdles
- Responding to market or grid requirements in real-time
At Energy One, we’ve seen first-hand the emerging demand for energy services. Our offices in France and Belgium already offer software to facilitate market operations as well as a bureau service to submit market notices on behalf of customers. This is done on an agreed set of operational or commercial parameters wherein the customer retains full, transparent oversight of the commercial and operational strategy for the asset.
There is also the potential for traditional utilities to outsource certain tasks to a service provider. While proprietary trading strategy will always remain an in-house function, established utilities may decide to outsource tasks such as generation dispatch, scheduling, nominations and settlements to a third-party service provider.
As such, to meet the needs of renewable energy generation and help customers transition to the new economy, Energy One has established global 24/7 energy solutions. This means we provide software with a service to meet the rapidly growing market need.
We offer specialised software for the management of decentralised renewable energy, and specifically the provision of market interfaces for grid-connected renewable generation. In addition to our SaaS solutions – and thanks to our network of global service desks – we offer a global energy services business, with these two elements providing a solution for our customers’ wholesale energy market needs.
Furthermore, combining our software with a premium service offering enables the entry of renewable energy into national electricity markets. This includes storage assets (e.g. batteries), for which we have developed sophisticated optimisation and scheduling software to manage the market interfaces (e.g. strategy based optimization and auto bidding).
Having an established team of sophisticated, technically adept personnel and a global presence makes Energy One a reliable partner for global entities looking to outsource operational activities for both power and gas and places us at the forefront of the transition to the renewable energy future.
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