Improvements in technology and the internet of things (IoT) are transforming the way energy is being generated, used and traded. With countries across the world committing to ambitious carbon reduction targets and the cost of renewable technologies reducing, we are seeing the energy landscape evolve at pace.
As we head towards an increasingly digital future, there is a clear shift towards a cleaner, smarter energy network; one that is no longer reliant on inefficient and highly polluting fossil-fuel power stations but instead on renewable power.
By 2040 it’s predicted that renewables will have become the world’s main source of power, gaining traction faster than any other fuel in history.
Alongside this, greater connectivity is supporting the creation of ‘smart cities’ that are driven by smarter grid networks, where energy isn’t held in the hands of a few big players, but instead is open to all. A network where smaller players and individuals can generate, store, share and trade electricity on an equal footing.
As PWC neatly puts it, we’re moving from “an analogue, scale-driven, centralized and standardized model to one that is digital, distributed and personalized”.
While new technologies present new opportunities, they also bring their own challenges. Renewable energy generators, such as wind and solar, are intermittent and difficult to predict. When there is no wind to turn the blades, cloud cover, or at night when the sun isn’t shining, these systems stop generating – and this presents a problem for the electricity network.
How can National Grid ‘keep the lights on’ if there isn’t a reliable, constant supply?
It is a problem the system operator aims to tackle through its various balancing services, which reward those who help balance electricity supply and demand.
A key part of the solution is energy storage technologies, which can help bridge the gap by storing and then releasing energy when it is most needed. Whether that is large, utility-scale batteries, or smaller devices commonly found within homes and businesses – such as the batteries in electric vehicles.
Upside Platform was designed to enable a route to market for exactly these types of distributed energy resources. Using advanced algorithms and AI, our innovative platform can help extract the maximum commercial value from all energy market opportunities. It can orchestrate 100,000s of such devices in real time, regardless of their type, size, location or scale.
By doing so, we are helping to open the market and supporting a more efficient use of electricity, helping reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Ultimately aiding the move towards a zero-carbon economy.
There is an energy transition underway and at Upside we’re proud to have created the flexibility platform needed for the clean energy system of the future.