Part I - Unlocking the potential of the Brave New Energy World
By: Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor
The world is going digital - and so is the energy industry. While there are many business opportunities on the horizon, its first and foremost about removing the obstacles blocking the new decentralised energy world. With flexible power sources - such as solar in combination with energy storage - we will be able to unlock the full potential of digitalisation. SolarPower Europe, together with the International Battery Energy Storage Alliance (IBESA), have organised the first Digital Solar & Storage Conference at BMW World in Munich in early December to take a look at the status of the trajectory of this energy transition. Attracting over 200 industry stakeholders, these are some highlights:
Rules & Customers
When asking executive panelists from European technology leaders SMA, Solarwatt, Sonnen and Enel about the key challenges they face implementing 'Business Strategies in an Energy World Quickly Moving Towards Solar' during the Conference dinner discussion, they gave two key answers: on the one hand it is about regulatory hurdles that need to be overcome and on the other hand it is about finding the right paths to the new active power customers or prosumers.
One of the largest legislative packages of the decade currently being discussed in Brussels is the 'Clean Energy For All Europeans' package, which is aimed at providing the regulatory conditions needed for European energy system based on renewables. "We are working on the core elements that will create the essential policy framework for future business models to prosper", stated SolarPower Europe President Christian Westermeier in his welcome speech.
One of these elements is ensuring a 35% renewables target by 2030 rather than the 27% originally proposed by the European Commission in the Renewable Energy Directive, which would set the base for a strong growth of the solar and storage sector in Europe.
In regards to Market Design, the main concerns are mostly about 'stacking of services', as well as the 'fair and free movement of stored solar kilowatt-hours' that need to be improved in the latest legislative drafts (see slide).