Representatives from four European utilities shared their viewpoints on the market. All made the point that pilots were happening everywhere, but they struggle to scale. I was struck by some of the dominant logic / institutional mindset, hearing the well-worn statement about renewables “… wind, solar, are intermittent, needing large investment in storage for which there is no business case …”. In my opinion, such traditional, “top down” logic of the energy system is incorrect; for, when viewing the energy system “bottom up”, then localised distributed and decentralised renewable generation is a source of diversity and resilience and, locally optimised, is not intermittent; I believe a massive shift of mindset is required.
To that end I shared the example of Social Energy, a tech-based energy company in the UK who have are building a business based on creating connections to customer-owned assets (PV, Battery Storage) and using AI and data to access new value pools. They offer up to 70% off the standard energy bill and are building a VPP behind-the meter; true innovation and disruption. This is happening now, irrespective of the current regulatory environment and will only accelerate when new regulatory changes are introduced in mid-2021.
It was an interesting discussion.