Energy21

21
Dec

Layered Energy System: exploring a new energy market model

Towards a sustainable energy ecosystem with the Layered Energy System

Our energy market model has been set up top-down and centralistic, from production (via transmission and distribution) to consumption. But our current model is no longer fit-for-purpose. For example the model is not suitable for end-users with solar panels that generate a surplus of energy and feed it back into the energy network (bottom-up). This leads to questions that urgently need to be answered. 

Local energy community
A very important question regarding a (new) sustainable energy ecosystem is: what should be the role of local energy communities in our energy system? Distributed generation and flexibility are part of the cause as well as the solution of the challenges the energy system faces. Demand-response by aggregators is currently not very attractive for the owners of flexibility (the end-user) nor is it a scalable solution in the long run. At the same time, local communities of end-users are founded and are experimenting with energy sharing, flexibility and with distributed network technologies (like blockchain). We believe that this system-averse social trend is an important factor in the energy transition.

Layered Energy System Concept
In close co-operation with the Dutch distribution grid operator Stedin, Energy21 developed the Layered Energy System (LES). In an earlier phase we explored the concept of local energy communities and local markets. Now, we have described more detailed the mechanics and roles of stakeholders in a Layered Energy System. We believe that the concept of LES provides a feasible elaboration of the “Citizens Energy Community” as mentioned in the EU Clean energy package.


LES offers insights and possible solutions to stakeholders’ issues moving towards a sustainable energy ecosystem. Energy21 is proud to present the LES Whitepaper and continues to discuss the topic with all stakeholders in the energy ecosystem.

Download

Would you like to know more about the Layered Energy System?

For more information, please contact Michiel Dorresteijn (Projectlead Market Analysis & Blockchain Technology)
via +31 6 117 169 27 or mail michiel.dorresteijn@energy21.com

9
Oct

Energy transition: challenges and solutions

The energy market is in transition. More renewables, increasing demand for electricity and the rise of electric vehicles are putting incredible pressure on the grid. New players enter the market and current ones need to adapt. All these factors create a technically complex discussion on both a national and international level.

USEF (Universal Smart Energy Framework) Foundation launched a serious game to increase understanding of the new market dynamics and facilitate a broader dialogue. The interactive documentary covers three major dilemmas for setting up an effective energy market:

    1. Flexibility versus grid reinforcement
    2. The admission of one or more aggregators
    3. The degree of regulation of the market

 

What decisions would you make for a future proof energy market?

START THE GAME

3
Dec

Finalist of The Challenge Engineering 2018

In The Challenge Engineering 2018, our colleague Alex Trijselaar, Product Manager, presented Energy21’s industrial solution as the best innovative solution to fight climate change.

After an exciting selection procedure, Alex was nominated as one of the final three to present the best solution for the climate case originated by KIVI. He presented Energy21’s industrial solution that focuses on digitalizing the energy processes of larger industrial sites.

Alex commented: “It was an honor to present our solution in the finals to a professional jury and an audience with Marjan van Loon representing Shell to create more awareness around this topic. This is an often overlooked solution, while some parties started implementation as early as 2015 and the results are very promising.”

Diederik Samsom, one of the jury members, said: “For sure the best contributor to CO2 reduction if you will work with the big twelve in Dutch industry.”

You can review his introduction here, or review the final pitch on Youtube (in Dutch).


Would you like to hear more?

Contact Thomas Crabtree via thomas.crabtree@energy21.com or +31 6 3085 2747 to discuss your planning challenges. Also, read more about how we can deliver, manage and optimise your energy processes using our software solution EBASE. Or take a deeper dive into other energy optimisation strategies for industrial energy users:

EBASE Solution Strategies
9
Sep

Utility planning for industrial energy users

The concept of industrial symbiosis is that various industrial processes benefit from each other’s presence. Key in being able to make waste streams useful is a clever utility planning. Or as we like to state: waste + plan = feedstock.

Industrial symbiosis saves raw materials and energy, minimizes emissions, cuts logistics costs and exploits synergies. The concept can be applied to multiple sites being connected, as well as having dependencies in internal processes.  An interesting example of this concept is the “Verbund” mindset of our client BASF.

 

Utility planning as a driver for industrial symbiosis

On complex industrial sites the primary production processes and energy & utilities processes are strongly interconnected. Most obviously, the demand for energy and utilities is dependent on the intensity of the production process.

An accurate translation of production planning to energy and utilities demand is therefore key to avoiding excess energy generation. Where excess electricity can be fed into the national grid, excess steam and utilities are often wasted (check this infographic on creating value of excess steam).

There are several ways of improving your energy and utility planning.

Assuming the translation of production plans to energy demand is accurate, the starting point is to create insight in the accuracy of the demand plans of individual plants.
Creating awareness of these numbers will often lead to a natural improvement in accuracy.
Next, ex-post analysis of plan data versus actual demand can indicate structural deviations, which can be accounted for in the planning process.
Finally and when applicable, you can use advanced algorithms to create demand forecasts based on weather data and other relevant parameters.

 

How your utility planning is affected by heat and waste streams

If your operation contains exothermic processes and/or useful waste streams, utility planning becomes more interesting and complex. You can feed waste heat of exothermic processes back into the steam network, while combusting waste streams in boilers to generate ‘free’ steam.

If production plans fluctuate heavily over time, so will waste streams and energy demand. Key in these situations is to smartly combine all relevant parameters to reach the most optimal planning. One example is to schedule maintenance activities in periods when less waste streams are expected, in an attempt to match a reduced flow of free steam with reduced demand.

 

 


We can help you to improve your utility planning!

Contact Thomas Crabtree via thomas.crabtree@energy21.com or +31 6 3085 2747 to discuss your planning challenges. Also, read more about how we can deliver, manage and optimise your energy processes using our software solution EBASE. Or take a deeper dive into other energy optimisation strategies for industrial energy users:

EBASE Solution Strategies
6
Jun

Towards Industry 4.0: calculating the value of your optimisation potential

 

Working on a more sustainable energy future is not only a noble effort in relation to future generations, but can be financially attractive for current business as well. The two infographics below back up this statement with numbers and offer a calculation method that can help you seize the value of your optimisation potential. Both are based on our experiences with our client group of (industrial) energy users.

 

Towards Industry 4.0

All the projects that we are working on within this group share a strong digitalisation aspect, in which raw sensor data are aggregated to higher-value context information. By making this information available at (near) real time, operators are capable of seizing opportunities that occur either on the market or within their own processes, without jeopardizing security of supply. These are typical first steps towards an Industry 4.0 operation.

 

Infographic #1: Calculating the value of reducing excess steam

For example, a medium sized plant with 30 ton / hr production could save €369,000 / year from literally disappearing into thin air while decreasing their CO2 footprint. How? Check this infographic!

Download

 

Infographic #2: Calculating the value of monetizing flex on the imbalance market

For example, by capturing 5 minutes of every high imbalance price PTE in 2017 a medium sized industrial site with 10 MW of flexibility could have created power revenues of €430,000 while supporting stability of the grid. How? Check this infographic!

Download

 

Interested to hear more?

Call Thomas Crabtree (+31 6 3085 2747) and find out how you are able to calculate the value of your optimisation potential. Or check our dedicated web page for industrial energy optimisation.

 

28
Aug

Energy analytics: optimise your operation on more than just thermodynamics

Traditionally, energy optimisation methods for industrial energy users have focused on thermodynamics of core processes. With the ever increasing possibilities of digital technologies and energy analytics, opportunities arise to subsequently optimise related processes such as consumption planning, procurement and asset dispatch. Combining internal with external optimisation creates synergies boosting business results. We call this System Optimisation.

 

Energy analytics: how to start

By adopting analytics in industrial energy operations, relevant data from multiple sources can be combined in the energy planning process. A key aspect while combining sources is to create uniformity in data received. This can e.g. include aggregating time series to fixed intervals, converting data into different units and aggregating measurements to the desired portfolio level.

When data has been uniformed, a data structure can be created to greatly ease the analysis process. Typically these data structures are constructed by creating different sectional views of your site. Once the uniformed data structures are in place, System Optimisation can be applied.

 

Using energy analytics to achieve system optimisation

Assuming the efficiency of your energy generating assets has long been optimised, it is time to look at how much energy is generated and at which costs. Starting point will generally be to have enough energy available for your primary production process at all times. Accurate energy demand planning is therefore essential to avoid excess generation.

Another route is to increase production during times overgeneration cannot be avoided. This can be the case when contracts (e.g. for ancillary services) prevent your energy assets from ramping down, or if steam production from waste streams exceed current demand. Preventing this requires an easy-to-access overview of contractual obligations, both on the production side as well as on the energy generation side.

While temporarily reducing production because of high energy prices is generally not considered feasible, increasing production during times of low energy prices is often a possibility. This requires at least an up-to-date overview of day-ahead and intraday prices, but might also require a real time imbalance price forecast. By combining the latter with a real time view on portfolio imbalance, opportunities on the imbalance markets can be seized.

Many other internal and external conditions can be taken into account, e.g. grid capacity contracts and emission reduction obligations.

 


We can help you to achieve system optimisation using energy analytics!

Contact Thomas Crabtree via thomas.crabtree@energy21.com or +31 6 3085 2747 to discuss your goals and challenges. Also, read more about how we can deliver, manage and optimise your energy processes using our software solution EBASE. Or take a deeper dive into other energy optimisation strategies for industrial energy users:

EBASE Solution
Strategies

 

26
May

RFI Technology partner ‘Market Service App’ for local energy markets

RFI Development and integration ‘Market Service app’ for local energy markets

Stedin and Energy21 designed the Layered Energy System (LES) based on the USEF framework. LES is a community-based market model that offers solutions to a variety of existing and future problems resulting from the energy transition. The next step in development of the Layered Energy System is doing a proof of concept in a real life local market setting. The project is looking for technology partners. 

Proof of concept in real life local market setting

Together with technology partners ABB and Enervalis, Stedin has found a location (Hoogdalem) in its grid area where a group of households are willing to participate in the first pilot project. Advanced technology, such as Heat pumps, Batteries, PV, internet-connected appliances (e.g. Laundry machines), is present in these houses enabling a full test of all functions of the Layered Energy System.

The project is looking for a partner who is capable of developing, and integrating the necessary ‘Market Service app’ on the Energy Web Foundation Blockchain. The market-service app has 3 goals:

 It matches local demand and supply of energy (through bids) in a market program (load profile)
 It brings together national and local need of flexibility (through flex offers and orders)

 It is able to process the effect of ordered flex into the market program (load profile)

The application will be a proof of concept and must be compatible with the blockchain of the Energy Web Foundation Tobalaba test network.

Interested to become a technology partner?

For more information, check Stedin’s RFI documents or contact Michiel Dorresteijn in case of any questions. Check our dedicated expertise page The energy system – Market model design to read more about the Layered Energy System.

29
Apr

BRP Market Access / API-based Web Services

Our new BRP Market Access solution that matches with the innovative character of your energy business

We see new parties entering the Power Balancing market that wish to integrate BRP functionalities and data directly into their applications. Based on the size and character of their portfolio, they do not require a standard, full stack solution to handle their BRP obligations.

 

BRP Market Access / API-based Web Services

At Energy21, we aim to match our data management solutions with the innovative character of our clients’ energy businesses. We are proud to have recently welcomed our first customer that is accessing their BRP data and energy data management functionalities via our API-based web services.

These services cover all required market processes such as nominations, register management, allocation, settlement and reconciliation. For example, in the Netherlands these services include direct market communication with EDSN, grid operators and TenneT.

 

Benefits of using the Energy21 API-based web services

Market access

 Guaranteed correct fulfillment of your BRP market obligations
 Use 1 standard web technology (JSON Web API’s) that is compliant with sector releases
 Technical certification included

Software architecture

 No system upgrades or updates required
 Integrate web services with your autonomously designed applications
 Combine various 3rd party web services

Costs

 Link costs to the size of your business
 Existing library can be used with no upfront investments
 Pay-as-you-grow

Extras

 Benefit from extras such as APX forecasts, allocation completeness check, etc.

 

Interested to hear more? 

Contact Michiel Kuiper via +31 6 2602 8130

18
May

Scalability and the design of a new energy system

The next step might prove to be the bigger challenge

Energy21’s Michiel Dorresteijn was asked to respond to the Initiate! Manifesto. Read below his findings and how he elaborates on what could be added to it:

 

The means to produce energy by yourself and to participate in an energy market are becoming available for anyone. Information and data can be obtained and analyzed with easy-to-use apps and increasingly (artificial) intelligent algorithms. At the same time, costs of solar panels, fuel cells and storage systems are plummeting, while the technical performance is being improved. In other words: Energy is democratized.

The Manifesto of Initiate! describes that process spot on.The world of energy is changing rapidly and this new order requires a new economy with new roles and responsibilities. That being said, the next step might prove to be the bigger challenge.

The Manifesto describes the need for something new, but has not yet reached the point of offering an approach on how to solve that. And the initiative is far too valuable and needed (!) if it would restrict itself to formulating the problem.

 

Customer empowerment needs a market design that enables it

If I would leave it with that I would be doing the same: describing a need without offering a way of how to deal with it. In that regard, it may be worthwhile to mention the attempt Energy21 has made on this issue last year together with the Dutch grid operator Stedin. Starting off with the basic assumption that there is a need for a new energy system that can accommodate the democratization of energy production and information, we explored a possible market design that could meet four main prerequisites: the system has to:

 lower overall system costs
 empower customers
 stimulate renewable energy

 be scalable

 

Accommodating both the existing and the new energy economy

Especially the fourth prerequisite is very important. Scalable means that a system can start on a small scale, but can grow without needing a complete ‘bing bang’ replacement of the existing system. A revolution will only lead to resistance and struggle with vested interests. With the Layered Energy System, we have designed and described a system that can accommodate both the existing and the new energy economy.

In my opinion, the strength of Initiate!’s message will be defined by the remedy for the sore spot that is offered, not only by putting the finger on it. Otherwise, very true observations may become hollow statements. Based on what can be read in the Manifesto so far, I am eagerly and expectantly looking forward to what this initiative will bring.

 

Interested to hear more?

Check our dedicated expertise page on energy system and market model design or contact Michiel Dorresteijn.

1
Sep

Meter data management: the cornerstone of digitalisation

Where large industries and commercial energy users traditionally focused strongly on asset technology, digital technologies enable (near-) real-time steering of your energy operation. Energy21 specializes in making energy related data work for you. We support the complex operational decisions that arise in this process. Including smart meter data management is essential to help you capture and capitalize energy optimization opportunities.

 

Meter data management: organise before you optimise

Data needed to optimise energy operations is often readily available, e.g. from SCADA or DCS. The problem however is that this data is generally stored unprocessed, unstructured and non-uniform. By applying a smart meter data management solution your data can be made available to anyone involved in process optimisation.

Meter data management (MDM) is essential for combining data from different sources relevant for your operational decisions. Typically this includes actual measurements, production plans, energy prices, weather forecasts, technical capacities and many others.  An MDM system has two essential features. First, it automatically validates and corrects measurement data. Second, it creates uniformity between time series, e.g. by converting from volume to capacity data or by aggregating to standardised time intervals.

Our MDM solution EBASE has a particular focus on structuring data. Instead of having one big database where only those who know what to look for have access to data, we structure data according to your business topology. This makes it much more intuitive to work with available data sources. This way, energy data becomes available for all relevant departments: from energy procurement, to utility planning, to internal invoicing.

 

From meter data management to complex decision support

One of the most powerful digital applications for your energy operation is using data to support operational situations that require swift and accurate decisions. For example when an energy generating asset trips or when a short term market opportunity arises, you want to have all relevant data available to your operators. This way, you allow them to take exactly those steps to handle the situation in the best possible way.

Step one in this process is to analyse different scenarios that can occur and define the possible solutions, taking into account all relevant internal and external conditions. By capturing this business logic in an automated solution it becomes available to operators at all times. Next, the output of this business logic will be the input for predefined workflows. These will assure that all steps required to correctly handle the situation are executed correctly.

 

 


We can help you capture and capitalize optimisation opportunities!

Contact Thomas Crabtree via thomas.crabtree@energy21.com or +31 6 3085 2747 to discuss your challenges. Also, read more about how we can deliver, manage and optimise your energy processes using our software solution EBASE. Or take a deeper dive into other energy optimisation strategies for industrial energy users:

EBASE Solution Strategies