„European markets for digital energy services in comparison: automated meter readings and data driven business models in the UK, Netherlands and France – what’s different to Germany?“
On the 5th of February 2019, a panel discussion, organised by Smartnet Energy, took place at E-World Energy and Water in Essen. Four panellists presented their company and afterwards discussed the differences between the countries concerning automated meter readings and data driven business models. The first speaker, Andrew Jenkins from Newcastle University is working on a research project called InTEGReL, building a fully integrated whole energy system. The new facilities will enable anyone to research, test, de-risk and demonstrate any energy conversion equipment that can transfer energy from any form to any form, e.g. electrical, natural gas, hydrogen, cold heat, transport, compressed air, chemical energy storage etc. Furthermore the facility will be able to demonstrate the optimisation of equipment coordination and associated transfer of energy from one form to another in real time.
The services provided by NET2GRID build upon algorithms / Non-intrusive load-monitoring (NILM). The company analyses real-time data and provides services to residential energy customers and energy suppliers. According to Berend Olde Rikkert, people demand for these services, provided that these services are valuable.
Fludia on the other hand, sells NILM-enabling sensors for energy monitoring services for small and medium-sized buildings. With these plug-and-play IoT sensors, data on gas, electricity and water can be collected and thus provide the basis for further services. The motive in the first place was to create a technology, enabling a better understanding of households.
Finally, Christian Bogatu, founder of Fresh Energy stated, that NILM is not the cause but an enabler for further services. With the services provided by Fresh Energy, households not only reduce their energy costs through transparency but also contribute to preserving the environment.
Concerning the rollout of smart meter gateways (SMGW) every country seems to follow its own way. While the rollout of SMGW in Germany only starts this year with some delay due to the certification process by BSI, the rollout already took place in the Netherlands. Berend Olde Rikkert notes, that the rollout happened quite organised and standardised in the Netherlands. However, new business models like flexible tariffs have not yet been adopted in the Netherlands. In this respect the UK market is ahead, offering more possibilities for energy services. Thus, NET2GRID is entering this market. In France, data is gathered in one institution and provided for free to companies in a resolution of 30 minutes. Marc Bons from Fludia comments that this is good, but not good enough for the value-added services they strive for.
One question coming from the audience related to the resolution of data and the necessity for NILM. All panellists agreed, that the resolution always depends on the service provided. As a rule, it can be stated that the higher the resolution, the more expensive the service. Thus, one always has to ask whether the service is worth the costs and whether the service provides an added value to the customer.