Published on December 6th, 2015 | by Glenn Meyers


Germany’s Sonnenbatterie Launches Energy Trading Platform

December 6th, 2015 by  

sonnenbatterie-logoSonnenbatterie, Germany’s market leader for residential energy storage, has launched a community energy trading platform, sonnenCommunity, aimed at enabling trading of surplus power from solar PV coupled with its battery systems. In addition, the company has rebranded its business platform.

The sonnenCommunity

According to company press information, every household in Germany will be able to join this community, connecting all energy producers and consumers, and allowing them to supply one another with renewable energy.

If successful, the platform could potentially eliminate the role of the conventional power company in connecting distributed energy providers.

“With the sonnenCommunity, we offer all households that want to determine their own energy future access to affordable, clean electricity for the first time,” said Christoph Ostermann, Sonnenbatterie CEO.

The sonnenCommunity connects homeowners with a photovoltaic system that uses a sonnenBatterie for storing surplus power. Members can then purchase the intelligent sonnenBatterie storage system exclusively starting at €3,599.

Sonnenbatterie Final-inspection-energy-storage-Sonnenbatterie

Final inspection of the energy storage Sonnenbatterie eco

As PV-Tech puts it, “The concept is that distributed generation, battery technology and digital networking can combine to create a new way of buying and selling electricity without the need for a traditional power company. Customers can make an additional profit to their feed-in tariff (FiT) income and pay what Sonnen described as ‘significantly below the average of traditional suppliers’ for electricity not generated by their own PV-plus-storage systems.”

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Energy Trading Community

Sonnen states that surplus electricity which can’t be consumed or stored can be shared online via the sonnenCommunity. Excess electricity is then made available to members who need power.

The company adds this user bonus: With the favorable purchase price of a battery storage device, members with a sonnenBatterie also have additional advantages — they can direct-market their surplus electricity with an additional profit to the feed-in-tariff and pay a price significantly below the average of traditional suppliers for electricity they don’t produce themselves. Sounds like an intriguing clean energy bartering platform.

Rebranding Takes Place With This Platform

As part of this new business model, Sonnenbatterie GmbH will be renamed sonnen GmbH. sonnen will serve as the umbrella brand for its intelligent battery storage system sonnenBatterie and its networked electricity community sonnenCommunity.

At its core, the sonnenCommunity will feature three technologies: decentralized power generation, battery storage technology, and digital networking supported with a self-learning software platform.

“By monitoring the production and consumption data of the members in real time the platform balances supply and demand. Combining weather and member consumption data creates the basis for a precise prognosis for the expected production and demand within the sonnenCommunity. The cyclical energy input from renewable sources thus becomes calculable and can be flexibly integrated.”

Americans may be wondering if Elon Musk is considering anything similar with the Tesla Powerwall. It has an appealing sort of twist. But if you ask utility companies and regulatory agencies for their perspective, they will no doubt fear seeing an energy trading quagmire.

Images via Sonnenbatterie

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About the Author

is a writer, producer, and director. Meyers was editor and site director of Green Building Elements, a contributing writer for CleanTechnica, and is founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.

  • Matt

    So I’m guess that in Germany distribution and generation are split. But still lots of question on how this works. How much does distribution network charge? How is the traded power “removed” for the sellers export and buys import bills? Sounds like there could be 6 parties involved here, Seller, seller’s power provider (read meter and bills you), distribution network, buyer, buyer’s power provide, and SonnenBattiers.

  • Carl Raymond S

    Well done Germany – leading the way again.

    “every household in Germany will be able to join this community, connecting all energy producers and consumers, and allowing them to supply one another with renewable energy”

    Why stop there? Why not open the system right up and allow trade between any two parties on the grid? Happy to pay for the cost of delivery, but I’d be wary of being locked into a market where one party makes the rules.

    One internet is kind of obvious.

    One grid. One market. The bigger the numbers, the wider the geography, the lower the intermittency.

    • mike_dyke

      I agree – I’d love to be able to source my winter electricty from where it’s summer. Any takers in Australia?

      • Carl Raymond S

        The Pacific is a big pond, but I’ve read that losses using High Voltage DC lines are 3.5% per 1000km (620 mile).
        Which indicates it’s a good time to make friends to one’s west, especially if they are closer to the equator with sunny skies. (As Spain is to Europe, Afghanistan is to China, Libya is to the Middle East) For around 15% losses, sunshine can be piped across 3 time zones.

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