As we rethink how the grid of the future should look and function in this new era of distributed resources, it’s instructive to see what’s going on in other countries. The concept of a peer to peer electricity marketplace is one of those radical ideas we’re hearing more about in Europe. Let’s look at the progress of one such company, UK-based Open Utility, and its Piclo technology.
How the Piclo technology works
Smart meters record how much energy is put onto and taken off the grid. Piclo technology uses this data to match customers with the local generation sources in an optimal and fair way and displays the results to customers and partners via the Piclo website. Open Utility partners handle customer service, provide top-up energy, manage billing and underwrite contracts.
Advantages to customers
Consumers can further enhance their “green”, environmentally friendly lifestyle by choosing to buy local, renewable electricity. Businesses can maximize CSR value from their energy bills, and renewable generators can participate in a local energy market. Leveraging their experience, Open Utility is a leader in the P2P energy sector with the growing adoption of their technology by energy companies in other countries.
“Essent is a digital energy company, offering our customers smart, sustainable solutions and helping them to use energy more efficiently,” says Stella Brenninkmeijer – Director Marketing Development at Essent. “Therefore, we have established a new digital P2P brand “Ellyn” to give our business customers easy and transparent access to solar and windparks and give solar and windparks the opportunity to prioritize to whom they want to sell their electricity.”
Growth of the P2P market
In the UK, the company partnered with Good Energy to launch Selectricity in 2016, which uses Open Utility’s Piclo technology to allow UK businesses to buy renewable power directly from hundreds of independent generators. In June of 2017, Open Utility announced that ERG, a leading Italian renewable electricity generator and supplier, had selected to trial the company’s Piclo Platform to enable Italian businesses to benefit from buying local renewable energy.
Commenting on the expansion to Italy, James Johnston, CEO of Open Utility said: “Peer-to-peer energy matching and specifically our Piclo Platform, are emerging as an important pillar of the global transition to decentralized energy. So we are very pleased to trial our solution in Italy in partnership with ERG . This agreement is a significant milestone for Open Utility – securing our 2nd utility client and bringing P2P energy to Italy for the first time.”
Most recently, Open Energy announced a trial contract with Netherlands-based Essent, part of the Innogy Group.
Commenting on the new partnership in the Netherlands, James Johnston, CEO of Open Utility said: “In highly competitive energy markets like the Netherlands, transparency and choice are the key to success. We are excited to bring this proposition to the Dutch market together with Essent, through our Piclo P2P Energy Marketplace. This partnership with Essent strengthens our position as a leader in P2P energy with a proven platform that is flexible and can be applied in various global markets.”
— Solar Builder magazine