Younicos Selected To Help With German Energy Transition

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Younicos has been selected to help design the next phase of the German energy transition by the German Ministry for Economics and Energy, as part of the “enera” consortium. The point of the enera project is to create a more transparent, efficient energy information system, combined with a smart grid and new market mechanisms. Obviously, such a system will integrate renewable energy successfully, which is the whole point of the transition. This phase includes a government grant of up to €50 million, with the entire enera project valued at €200 million, and there is a 75-member consortium of energy players on board to help.

Younicos cofounder Clemens Triebel explained, “We’re delighted to apply the experience and knowledge we’ve gained from 23 battery-based storage projects with a combined power rating of almost 100 megawatts to this new challenge. In over ten years of pioneering work, we have developed entirely new software for communications and control between the power grid, electricity market, and battery plant. It is exactly this type of IT expertise that’s needed for the success of Energiewende — not only in Germany but throughout Europe.” (As he said, Younicos has a number of successful energy storage projects operating in Germany.)

The enera model will be focused on an area 2,665 square-kilometers (1,028 square-miles) in mostly agricultural lands in the northwestern coastal region, with about 400,000 residents. This area already has renewable energy, so adding intelligent energy management and energy storage could create a smart energy showcase there.

It isn’t just optimizing the grid — it is getting all the pieces working together well, such as data, the markets, and analytics. You may have noticed that this discourse seems to only coming from a high level, but the energy transition quite obviously impacts individuals on a personal level.

Jens Lakamp, the CEO of Peak Lab, made a good point about this, “It doesn’t help that the smart meter was introduced by means of legislation, as this gives consumers the sense that they were forced into it. It would be much better to show consumers how ‘sexy’ a smart meter can be and what the benefits would be. We must design products that are simple and intuitive to use. In today’s world, we must motivate people to support the transition. This is easiest to do if we can offer sustainable products that speak to the future of energy — a future that is already here.”

It will be fascinating to see what happens with the development of greater energy efficiency and management in the model area, and how impactful the project can be.

Image Credit: Olaf2, Wiki Commons

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Jake Richardson

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3 thoughts on “Younicos Selected To Help With German Energy Transition

  • The concept of this is very appealing. The grid is getting a lot more players, so if you want it to work efficiently, you need to improve communications. Also, the cost of computers, their size, and power consumption is so low, we really can put them into all major electricity consuming AND producing devices in homes and businesses. I’m not suggesting we force them in. I’m suggesting we make the information available, and pay for value, like demand reduction at peak times, or grid support from somebody’s fancy home inverter with batteries.

  • Smart- meters will only become attractive to consumers when these offer them benefits, and not just utilities. For example, if you have ToD pricing and contractual load shedding, an intelligent home controller (Nest after a few more iterations) will be able to save home-owners money and carbon emissions by running time-shiftable appliances like dishwashers and ev chargers at the best times. Until then, scepticism is in order.

    • Right, but what I am hoping is that they are looking to head toward a general solution that is not only going to make it easy for someone with a shipping container sized battery to participate, but a homeowner with the right kind of gear, and then, as you pointed out, give them a reason. Of course, if you let distribution companies own generation and such, then they will fight it at every turn. Much easier if there is no conflict of interest.

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