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The energy of the future will not come from power stations

#RenewableEnergies #FeedinPayment #VirtualPowerPlants

Virtual power plants turn renewable energy operators into beneficiaries of the sustainable energy transition

“With our virtual power plants, even smaller producers of renewable energies can make a contribution to the sustainable energy transition. This pays off for suppliers, consumers and the climate. However, it would not be possible without the gateways from INSYS icom. In addition to leading-edge communication technology, they also offer the possibility of providing local intelligence and keeping it up-to-date, which is a central element of our solution.”

Michael Richter
Team Leader Marketing and Communication

Energy2market GmbH, Leipzig (D)

Energy2market GmbH

Energy2market (e2m), a subsidiary of the French energy group EDF, operates as an aggregator for renewable energies (RE) and currently operates 5,500 installations. The model of virtual power plants makes it possible to flexibly manage the marketing of electricity for the predominantly decentralised producers. This makes it possible to plan sales efficiently from the perspective of both producers and consumers.

The challenges of dispersed power generation

While the generation of energy from fossil fuels such as coal, oil or gas is concentrated in large power stations, wind farms, PV systems and biogas installations are usually widely dispersed. Depending on the size of the plant, they each supply comparatively small amounts of electricity. The increasing number of such plants is ensuring substantial feed-in on the electricity market. However, wind turbines need wind, PV systems need sunlight and hydropower plants need specific water levels to be able to generate electricity. These factors are often difficult to plan, and yet it is precisely here that there is a need for change, because the highest revenues are achieved through plannable and reliable supply.

Networks instead of power stations

Energy2market GmbH (e2m) bundles renewable energy generation plants by networking them into virtual power stations, and then carries out the marketing of the green electricity. The company acts as a trader on the energy markets, similar to energy companies, in order to market sought-after green electricity on the electricity exchange at the best price. Individual plant operators can only do this if they have high minimum quantities and a predictable and reliable supply. e2m uses communication technologies from INSYS icom to network the installations of renewable energy generators in compliance with the highest security standards and to enable data-driven control of the systems, including the resulting virtual power plants: algorithms calculate the expected feed-in power on the basis of weather forecasts, and the plants respond in line with demand via the grid frequency at feed-in points, as well as with dynamic power feed-in based on market needs.

Renewable energies are becoming plannable

How fast green electricity becomes successful depends on how attractive it is for suppliers to purchase it and how flexibly supply responds to demand. Thanks to the expertise of e2m, the specific management of feed-in by dispersed plants generates additional income for their operators. At the same time, networking the individual plants enables higher-level coordination and scheduling, so that the virtual renewable energy networks can be managed like a large-scale power station and achieve economies of scale.

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