P2P energy player lobbies for storage

Battery storage in P2P energy networks could help businesses such as the Eden Project save money. (Pic: Jürgen Matern)

Battery storage in P2P energy networks could help businesses such as the Eden Project save money. (Pic: Jürgen Matern)

By Jason Deign

Peer-to-peer (P2P) power supplier Open Utility is planning to pressure the UK electricity market regulator towards introducing grid-balancing measures that could include energy storage.

The company, which runs an energy marketplace called Piclo, hopes to convince the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) that P2P networks are good for consumers and distributed generation asset owners.

“There are significant benefits in better balancing renewables and demand on a local electricity network,” said James Johnston, Open Utility’s CEO and co-founder. “Energy storage will be key in enabling this balancing.”

Currently, he said, UK regulations do little to encourage the use of energy storage in P2P networks. Piclo, which allows businesses to buy renewable power directly from source, does not currently include storage, for example.

However, Johnston said: “If regulations allow for it, incentivising local balancing using P2P energy matching could unlock significant financial rewards for local consumers and generators.”
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Peer-to-peer energy: an opportunity for storage?

We look at the potential impact of peer-to-peer energy trading networks – such as those from Vandebron in the Netherlands and Open Utility in the UK – on energy storage.

What impact will peer-to-peer energy trading networks – like those from Vandebron in the Netherlands and Open Utility in the UK – have on energy storage? Photo credit: Vandebron

A growing interest in peer-to-peer energy trading raises questions over whether storage could help consumers gain extra benefit from distributed power generation.

Current attempts to trade energy on a peer-to-peer basis are primarily designed to let producers maximise their profits on excess power at the point when it is produced.

The Dutch platform Vandebron, for example, lets consumers buy power directly from independent renewable energy producers such as farmers who own wind turbines.

By eliminating the utility’s margin from the equation, producers can offer consumers cheaper energy and still make more money than they might with a traditional feed-in tariff or off-take agreement.
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