Clean renewable energy market trading innovations
The clean renewable energy markets in many countries arc changing and transforming fast to accommodate and integrate the growing shares of variable renewable energy supplies. The markets have to become more flexible including managing new shorter trading times. In addition, they have to better integrate customer demand responses on both the supply and demand sides. New market participants have often included small- and medium-sized enterprises rather than the traditional large utility companies. The number of decentralised, independent clean renewable energy producers has been rising globally in both developed countries and emerging economies. They have been playing increasingly important roles in providing variable renewable energy and distributed power management.
Some existing major electric utility companies have been developing new strategies and business models which would accommodate the new market drives for variable decentralised renewable energy supplies. This will be in addition to their traditional centralised big fossil fuels or nuclear power generation models. Good business examples of leading utility companies undertaking these important market transformations included RWE and E.ON in both Europe and the UK.
There have also been many new interesting commercial innovations in renewable energy retailing including new B2B and B2C innovations. A good example is that in response to the conceptual shift away from centralised electricity generation utility companies have shown increased interest in virtual power plant developments. These will increasingly involve new advanced networks of decentralised renewable energy generation integrated with distributed power supply management systems and advanced battery storage systems. These systems could also be connected to and remotely controlled by advanced digital process software and operational data systems (REN, Global Status Report, 2018).
There have also been interesting new developments and innovations in clean energy trading and contracting. A good example is a new digital peer-to-peer trading model in which a direct contract could be made between the energy generator and the energy user. Good examples of these included a new trading platform in New York City, USA plus new peer-to-peer trading platforms in Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, etc.
In addition, new innovative models of pooling residential storage systems have emerged. These new pooling systems have often been paired and integrated with distributed clean energy management systems for variable clean renewable energy supply and management. These new systems will allow producers and customers to play increasingly active roles in balancing power supply and demands. A good example is that Switzerland had approved new pooling residential storage system services for its grid. Similar models have also been implemented in Vermont in the United States and tested in Germany.
An important new clean energy innovation is in hybrid renewable energy integration projects. These projects would often combine two or more renewable power technologies. Hybrid projects involving both wind power and solar PV have been becoming popular. These are in large parts due to natural synergies of the two clean renewable energy resources in that wind speeds would often accelerate when solar irradiation declines. New hybrid clean energy projects have been built in many emerging economics and developed countries. Good examples included Australia, China, India, Morocco and the USA (Mckinsey, The future of electricity rate designs, 2019).