Thursday, 23 February 2017 10:21

New digital marketplace to trade in renewable energy


A digital marketplace for trading in energy generated by solar panels and stored in battery storage units has been launched, with green tech start-up GreenSync in the lead.

The Decentralised Energy Exchange, known as deX, has been funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and will bring together network operators United Energy and ActewAGL, energy retailer Mojo Power and another green tech start-up, RepositPower.

Trades can take place between consumers, businesses, communities and network utilities.

At the moment, energy that is generated from rooftop solar panels and stored in batteries cannot be traded on the market. It is bought by one's electricity provider and paid for at a standard rate.

A statement said the new exchange would allow homes and businesses that generate renewable energy to gain access to incentives and cut down the extent to which they depend on the grid by using energy from battery storage units during peak demand.

blythe big

GreenSync founder and chief executive Dr Phil Blythe.

deX will launch pilot projects from June onwards and will use network situations in the ACT and Victoria to set up market value and trading with customers.

These projects will be backed by the governments of ACT and Victoria, the Australian National University, the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Market Commission and Energy Consumers Australia.

GreenSync founder and chief executive Dr Phil Blythe said: "Reliability of the energy system and delivering new value streams to consumers are key priorities driving deX.

"Homes and businesses will be able to monetise their solar and storage assets by essentially renting them to the grid when they're most needed. deX will revolutionise peak electricity management and drive more effective investment in energy infrastructure."

He said there were loads of small "power plants" on more than 15% of the roofs in Australia. "Getting all of these working together to support the grid is a powerful proposition for the widespread adoption of renewable energy technology and will fundamentally improve the reliability and reduce the intermittency of these resources in the energy mix."

ARENA chief executive Ivor Frischknecht said: "deX is a software based marketplace that will, for the first time, allow households and businesses to trade the grid services their batteries and rooftop solar can provide with their local network operators.

"This could encourage more investment in solar and batteries, supporting the grid, reducing the need for infrastructure investment and ultimately reducing the cost of renewables in Australia."

An industry discussion paper will be available before the first pilot projects are launched.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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