Can Micro Energy Trading create future markets and save energy and money?
What is Micro Energy Trading?
Micro Energy Trading is the buying and selling of electricity on a very local level. By combining a smart grid with renewable energy generation, landlords, householders and businesses are able to become prosumers and take ownership of their energy production and distribution.
Some families with solar panels are generating more electricity than they need, for example during week days, when nobody is at home because they are at work or school. Meanwhile, many local businesses need electricity during the weekdays for their computers, lighting or utilities, but they don’t need it in the evenings or on weekends. This creates a poor distribution of power that then needs returning to the grid to be redistributed, costing both energy and money.
Micro Energy Trading uses a smart grid, which utilises smart and digital technologies to control the production and distribution of renewable energy. Despite the intensive effort and costs needed to roll them out, including drastically adapting the current infrastructure; smart grids improve fault detection and can self-heal, meaning lower maintenance costs and time and money saved in the long term.
These smart grids allow solar panel owners to take control of their energy and sell their surplus to those who need it, when they need it.This means that the micro energy provider to make small transactions and earn money from their excess energy.
Innovative technology companies are developing cutting-edge Smart Grids and intelligent, self-learning software that tracks energy demand and can predict fluctuations based on usage and even external variables such as weather forecasts to automatically price and trade energy using Block Chain Technology, which makes the transactions more efficient and secure.
There are some key partners involved in setting up a micro energy market: Technology companies, as well as solar panel manufacturers need to work together, along with housing corporations to install their systems; local governments need to approve and support the initiative, often issuing permits; and communities of householders and businesses need to come together to create a micro market, where consumers become prosumers that pro-actively buy and sell their energy.
What are the benefits of Micro Energy Trading?
The potential benefits of this are impressive: Housing developers can build more energy efficient and futureproof housing, increasing their stock value; property owners can become prosumers and earn money from their solar investment; consumers can buy their energy at better rates, when they need it most; countries can have greener, more sustainable energy sources that balance generation and demand; and communities can come together over shared interests and investment.
Pilots for Micro Energy Trading are already underway in the USA, Australia and Bangladesh, with proposed pilots in the Netherlands and Northern Europe.