Peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading is being offered by the British energy technology firm Open Utility to allow corporate clients to be able to choose to draw power from a local utility or available energy generator. This is the first time that a user has the ability to trade directly with more than one electric provider.
Good energy is well placed to act as mediator or market administrator due to their network of over 1,000 independent renewable generators, assuring a sufficient supply for the expected demand.
In some areas of the United States, residential users can sell any extra electricity that they generate back to the utility company they are registered with. This has lately been circumvented by the utility companies to dissuade users from acquiring solar power generating units of their own. In the United Kingdom, peer-to-peer energy trading is possible due to the multiple energy sources available. This is not currently available in the U.S. due to the monopolistic tendency of large utility companies where users are tied exclusively to a single provider’s services.
Peer-to-peer energy trading is based on a digital framework which creates and manages micro energy markets. Energy trading between large utilities is a common practice around the world. There is a big difference between peer-to-peer energy trading compared to energy trading between utility companies.
In Open Utility’s model, peer-to-peer trading allows the user to choose which utility it will buy from. This requires a separate management of users with a pool of utilities. There is also a matching between customer and supplier every half hour. The prices and supply vary throughout the day, and the customers have a choice on which supplier they will draw electricity from.
Using the Piclo platform, the service is available through Good Energy, a renewable energy firm. Initial users have shown a preference for the local energy source, or the closest available one. Users can also prioritize whether they want to draw from wind or solar energy generators.
Smart Energy Requires Smart Meters
Good energy is well placed to act as mediator or market administrator due to their network of over 1,000 independent renewable generators, assuring a sufficient supply for the expected demand. Currently, the customer base is limited to businesses using smart meters which are capable of half-hour settlements. At present only a small number of residential and SME customers use smart meters. It is expected that as more customers use smart meters, they would also be able to engage in buying or selling electricity via peer-to-peer trading. One other innovation which is expected to be included in the feature is adding current energy pricing.
Potentially, this scheme would be rolled out to both residential and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) users as well. This will allow small energy generators to be able to actively trade with other home generators, or to donate electricity to the community. This would expand the use of peer-to-peer trading across down to the community level or even between homes.
The potential for this type or energy trading is directed at the better use and distribution of renewable energy output and capacity. Also, it can make sure that energy is supply is properly spread among customers. Additionally, the scheme will also allow users to save on both energy and money, or even earn from the trading.