Together with TenneT (Germany and the Netherlands), Swissgrid (Switzerland) and Terna (Italy), four of the largest European transmission system operators are now jointly developing a cross-border blockchain platform – Equigy. This will enable millions of European households and owners of e.g. electric vehicles to actively offer the flexible capacity of their cars and house batteries on the energy markets to stabilise the electricity system and thus earn money from the energy transition.
The energy world is changing rapidly, both on the supply side and on the demand side. As the electricity system increasingly relies to a large extent on sustainable and fluctuating electricity generation, there is a need for new sources of flexibility to keep the grid in balance. Many TSOs are traditionally dependent on fossil fuel thermal power plants for this purpose. At the same time, energy consumption is also changing due to the increasing demand for electric cars, heat pumps and solar panels. All this leads to fluctuations in supply and demand.
“Now that the conventional power stations are closing, we are preparing for a future in which we are largely dependent on consumers with their electric cars, home batteries and heat pumps to stabilise the grid reliably, sustainably and cost-effectively. In order for all these devices to work together to balance the grid, the Equigy platform provides an important technical basis. With this platform, data can be exchanged between the devices, market players and grid operators. This means that everyone will soon be able to help realise the energy transition and also benefit financially from it,” says TenneT CEO Manon van Beek.
“Equigy originated from European cooperation. In a common European market we will have to develop solutions together. We already have the same sockets. It would be a shame and unnecessarily expensive to develop different systems. In view of the European Union’s ambitious climate objectives, this platform is one of the innovations needed to guarantee the security of energy supply even after the abandonment of fossil fuels”.
The Equigy platform will initially be launched in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. The partners expect other European network operators to join as well.
About the Equigy platform
In tomorrow’s energy world, millions of small decentralised electricity producers, consumers and storage facilities such as electric vehicles, domestic batteries and heat pumps will help to cope with grid bottlenecks and balance fluctuations between generation and consumption. In this way, they take over tasks that today are mainly carried out by large power plants such as coal- and oil-fired power plants with a capacity of several hundred megawatts.
For millions of decentralised small storage units in households in the one to two digit kilowatt range across Europe to be able to offer their free capacity for grid stabilisation, automated processes and IT solutions are needed that make this possible in a simple, fast and cost-effective way. With the Equigy platform, the TSOs create the conditions for this. As an open source solution, the platform will be available free of charge.
The platform uses blockchain technology which allows transactions from millions of individual systems to be carried out securely, cost-effectively and transparently. Unambiguous laws and regulations enable consumers, businesses and manufacturers to market the flexible capacity of electric vehicles, domestic batteries and heat pumps easily and location-independently in all participating countries, thus simplifying access to the electricity market. At the same time, all local/regional flexibility platforms can be connected to the Equigy platform so that as much flexibility as possible can be bundled.
TenneT has already gained a great deal of experience in numerous pilot projects involving the use of decentralised flexibility from domestic batteries and e-vehicles, such as the collaboration with Sonnen and Vandebron and participation in the ‘Bidirectional Charging’ consortium with BMW.