The Consumer-Part of the Value Chain

A European Utility Week 2013 interview with Thomas Mikkelsen, VP Strategic Marketing and Sales, Green Energy Options
Published: Tue 26 Nov 2013

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Green Energy Options has taken on smart grids for connectivity reasons and to understand the whole value chain from production to transmission and distribution between the utility and the consumer. There has to be co-operation between these for the smart grid system to work.

Today, utility customers are no longer viewed as consumers only-they are becoming part of the value chain as they help to stabilize grid fluctuations and create a more sustainable grid for the future. These consumers have become prosumers and are creating real value for the utility and the grid.

Utilities should take the opportunity to partner with prosumers and communicate power fluctuations effectively with them in order to achieve grid stability. While communication with the prosumer must be enhanced, benefits for the consumer must be communicated effectively and customer information must be personalized so that it will be acted upon.

Prosumers are generating power from renewable sources such as solar. Since the sun does not shine all the time, its storage is becoming a necessity. Storage will play a major role in assisting with smart grid flexibility. A real market must be developed in order for this flexibility to work.

With regards to targets, the utility needs to start with focusing on concrete and achievable ones. By starting small, utilities can get the basics right before they move on to bigger issues. Utilities need to ensure that interoperability and flexibility is part of this process.