Peer-to-peer energy trading - Sandford Bessler gives insights

The development of energy communities will emerge from peer-to-peer trading initiatives.
Published: Mon 02 Jul 2018

Peer-to-peer trading is a natural opportunity in a decentralised prosumer-driven energy market, with benefits to both sellers and buyers.

Besides optimising the overall energy generation potential, it offers the opportunity for sellers to monetise their excess energy and improve the investment on their asset, while buyers benefit from lower cost electricity.

A growing number of companies are pioneering peer-to-peer platforms and initiatives, both algorithm and blockchain based. Among these is the Austria Institute of Technology (AIT), and at the inaugural Engerati Meet on Transactive Energy, we caught up with AIT scientist Sandford Bessler.

Sandford Bessler, Scientist at the Austrian |Institute of Technology, gives insights on peer-to-peer energy trading.

“It’s all about local energy communities,” says Bessler, commenting that local energy communities have been defined in the Clean Energy Package as a new entity.

“Taking the term transactive energy from the US, it envisages using all the mechanisms from the wholesale market in the local market. These include auctions, price settlements, using power flow equations in the low voltage grid, etc.”

Community engagement

Bessler says that the key challenge to local energy community development is that it is not allowed with current regulation, and it must be done with the involvement of utilities.

“For example, in France, it is allowed to trade energy between neighbours on the same feeder.”

Another issue he mentions as key is the potential of such projects to incentivise consumers to install more solar PV.

“Other issues are resilience and ecology, which are not so easy to measure.”

Commenting on AIT’s field trial, Bessler says it is a first experiment, but PV is on the rise everywhere as its price is dropping.

“DSOs need to maintain the power quality, so we also need a way to control this dynamically. Things like demand side management also need to be in place.”

With the implementation of the Clean Energy Package in Europe, and as regulators move to enable community energy initiatives, the development of prosumers will be given a significant boost and peer-to-peer opportunities will start to enter the mainstream.