Consumers – also the
customers – can define preferences for electricity purchases, such as the
percentage and price for electricity from local photovoltaic and wind energy
systems. With funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and
Energy, the goal of the pebbles project is to demonstrate that bottlenecks in
the grid can be avoided through local energy and flexibility trading, therefore
lowering the costs associated with the energy transition.
on the launch, Andreas Feicht, State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry
for Economic Affairs and Energy, said: “The pebbles project is impressive proof
of how different stakeholders from science, industry and the public sector can
work together on an innovative solution. This makes a vital contribution to the
government’s energy and digital policy goals as well as to the energy
transition in the Allgäu region.”
Sabine Erlinghagen, CEO of Digital Grid at Siemens Smart
Infrastructure, said: “The digital platform used for pebbles connects
producers, consumers and storage facilities so they can optimize the way they
locally trade energy and flexibility with each other. This allows systems
generating power from renewable energy sources to remain economically
attractive after government subsidies run out and continue to produce CO2-free
power and feed it into the grid in a way that benefits the entire system.”
Michael Lucke, CEO
of Allgäuer Überlandwerk, added: “As a regional energy supplier, we have been
involved for years in numerous projects for the future of local energy. We
don’t wait for solutions; we develop them. When asked why as an electricity
supplier we’re developing a platform that would make us ‘superfluous’ in the
electricity trade, I happily answer: ‘If we don't do it, somebody else will,
because the market demands it’. We would rather act as an innovative platform
operator that supports the energy transition than stay out of the game.”
The electricity market is currently undergoing a radical transformation. The ways we produce, consume, store and share electricity are changing fundamentally. One-dimensional energy systems where suppliers transfer energy to passive objects are being superseded by smart multi-dimensional models where previously-passive consumers become active consumers or even producers. With the aid of controllable loads or energy storage devices, they can also inject flexibility to balance fluctuations in electricity generation. The path to decarbonization chosen by the German Federal Government requires a continued increase in the percentage of electricity from distributed producers. With the conversion to e-mobility and heat pumps, the number of electrical consumers and the demand for electricity will increase at the same time. These changes can cause temporary bottlenecks in the power grid as well as power fluctuations that need to be addressed.
intensive expansion at certain points in the distribution grid, which is
associated with high costs. Innovative projects, such as pebbles, show grid
operators real alternatives to cost and time-intensive expansion of the grid.
At the same time, they meet the requests of end users for a more active role in
the energy system.
Siemens, AÜW, grid operator AllgäuNetz, Kempten University of Applied Sciences,
and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT) have
jointly developed the platform, management systems and app, taking grid
limitations, and production and load forecasts into account.