Technical Report

Digitalisation and New Business Models in Energy Sector

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Abstract

This paper reviews digitalisation in energy sector by looking at the business models of 40 interesting new start-up energy companies from around the world. These start-ups have been facilitated by the rise of distributed generation, much of it intermittent in nature. We review Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Blockchain applications in energy sector. We discuss the rise of prosumers and small-scale renewable generation, highlighting the role of Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs), the Distribution System Platform concept and the potential for Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading. Our aim is to help energy regulators calibrate their support new business models.

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... Digitalisation in the energy sector includes the creation and use of computerised information and processing of the full-size quantities of data that are generated in any levels of the energy supply chain. It guarantees a lot for each phase of the energy ecosystem: households, prosumers, distribution, transmission, generation, and retail and is often said as likely to result in a change of the energy system (Küfeoğlu, et al., 2019). Digitalisation is helping to improve the safety, productivity, accessibility, and sustainability of energy systems around the world. ...
... However, even though P2P energy trading businesses are promising, it is essential to indicate that these practises are not to replace the existing energy market but to supplement it (Küfeoğlu, et al., 2019). ...
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Blockchain technology, which emerged with the invention of Bitcoin and developed over time, started to touch every aspect of our lives with the birth of smart contracts. This study examines blockchain technology, smart contracts, the application of P2P energy trading from hardware, software, regulatory dimensions to Open Digital Innovation House, a self-sufficient smart home project, and some future works about the project. Promising results have been reached on the issue that the decentralized structure possibilities offered by blockchain technology can create a strong and transparent trading infrastructure for P2P energy grids.
... Existem diversas iniciativas e estudos da utilização da tecnologia Blockchain para o setor elétrico ao redor do mundo (KÜFEOGLU et al., 2019) (PLAZA et al., 2018, incluindo as transações de contratos de energia entre participantes de microrredes (KANG et al., 2018) (KIM;PARK;RYOU, 2018) (GORANOVIĆ et al., 2017) (SILVESTRE et al., 2018. No entanto, há diversos entraves regulamentares que precisam de alterações nos próximos anos para que a utilização da tecnologia torne-se realidade. ...
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Throughout the 20th century, the expansion of the electricity sector was generally associated with the construction of large power plants and extensive transmission lines to meet the growing demand for electricity. This model was the basis of strong economic growth and is directly related to the reduction of poverty to levels never before reached, considering that electric power plays a fundamental role in improving the quality of life of the population. This paradigm of centralized generation, however, is undergoing transformations mainly due to the expansion of distributed energy resources (DERs), and there is a strong trend of decentralization of electricity generation with the diffusion of microgeneration distributed in several countries, including Brazil. With demand response policies increasingly present, consumers are taking a more active role, in which new technologies are emerging to facilitate decision-making in this new scenario. In recent years, the increase in Distributed Generation (DG) has fostered the development of microgrids - electricity distribution networks that can operate in isolation from the distribution system - and the adoption of technologies is essential for the settlement of surplus energy generated by prosumers. As an alternative, Blockchain technology has disruptive potential and may be used by microgrids to establish intelligent energy contracts between consumers. However, there is still no specific legislation regarding energy transactions by microgrids in Brazil - which is why their growth is still incipient. Around the world, however, microgrids are growing and several regulatory initiatives are being proposed. At the same time, new startups are being created to use the Blockchain in the electricity sector – including microgrids –, given the potential of technology in issues of sharing, privacy, consensus and security of agreed transactions. This paper will present the underlying concepts of Blockchain technology and its evolution in electronic financial transactions. The Linux Foudation Hyperledger platform will also be addressed, with the objective of facilitating and leveraging Blockchain technology in several industries, including the electrical sector. Finally, the implementation and use of a Blockchainbased computing platform will be demonstrated for the settlement of energy contracts for microgrids connected to the distribution company.
... Albrecht et al., 2018;Donnerer and Lacassagne, 2018;Küfeo glu et al., 2019;Reetz, 2019;Richard et al., 2019;Strüker et al., 2019;Troncia et al., 2019). This includes the direct trading of electricity between households or companies(Strüker et al., 2019). ...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to formulate the most probable future scenario for the use of blockchain technology within the next five to ten years in the electricity sector based on today’s experts’ views. Design/methodology/approach – An international, two-stage Delphi study with 20 projections was used. Findings – According to the experts, blockchain applications will be primarily based on permissioned or consortium blockchains. Blockchain-based applications will integrate Internet-of-Things devices in the power grid, manage the e-mobility infrastructure, automate billing and direct payment, and issue certificates regard¬ing the origin of electricity. Blockchain solutions are expected to play an important big role in fostering peer-to-peer trading in microgrids, further democratizing and decentralizing the energy sector. New regulatory frameworks become necessary. Research limitations/implications – The Delphi study’s scope is rather broad than narrow and detailed. Further studies should focus on partial scenarios. Practical implications – Electricity market participants should build blockchain-based competences and collaborate in current pilot projects. Social implications – Blockchain technology will further decentralize the energy sector and probably reduce transaction costs. Originality/value – Despite the assumed importance of blockchain technology, no coherent foresight study on its use and implications exists yet. This study closes this research gap.
... For instance by June 2019 around 60% of the participant contracts had been signed [93]. Set against this falling market participation costs, due to the falling costs of digital trading platforms designed around small market participants -and able to bid automatically on their behalf -could act to encourage more participants [94]. ...
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... The study [1] sorts 40 sample start-ups and summarizes their business models. To shape our project, we have considered the current energy network interruption and it economic consequences, timing of the interruptions and its durations and local energy market. ...
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In this paper, we present the business model of a hypothetical start-up named as Bettery. Bettery generates electricity by using Photo-Voltaic panels and stores the excess energy in a Saltwater battery. Real sectoral data have been collected and analysed after contacting existing manufacturers of PV panels and saltwater battery systems in Turkey and Austria. Also, we examined similar start-ups that employ lithium-ion batteries. Value creation, proposal, targeted customers and revenue model are summarised on a business model canvas. A case study for return of investment is presented by using energy consumption data of a hospital in Edirne province of Turkey. We show that Bettery could be more profitable in sectors which are more susceptible to power interruptions and demand higher power reliability.
... In addition, the growth of distributed generation contributes to the reduction of intermediary costs in energy trade. A practical solution to how discontinuous small-scale generation can be integrated into the system at low intermediate costs is peer-to-peer electricity trading (P2P) [5]. ...
... "Number of new digital solutions and new business models are increasing in the world. The study [1] compiles 40 sample companies and summarises their business models." Digital technologies, which can be applied in various fields, can be used in public services to serve wider target audiences. ...
Technical Report
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In this paper, a drone-fire fighter business model developed to identify and report risks in a fire situation with the algorithm-based system of drones that are in communication with each other, which is called SMtR, is described. Supported by AI and IoT technologies, the algorithm aims for a quick response and effective intervention to fire cases. With the development of technology, new systems that are much more effective than classical systems have emerged. It is aimed to improve the first contact time with fires to less than 1 minute with SMtR, which can be a valuable element of smart cities, starting from the Şişli/Istanbul region, using the data provided by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Fire Department.
... To understand this situation, we have to take a look at start-ups in many ways. The study [1] lists 40 sample start-ups and summarizes their business models. In order to reduce global warming and carbon emissions in the world, renewable energy should be used in the industry and the energy produced should be stored. ...
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In this paper, we present the business model of a start-up named as FACTRIC. FACTRIC uses the electrical energy generated by photovoltaic panels by working integrated with salt water batteries and stores more electricity than needed in a ready-to-use manner. Price and feature information received directly from manufacturers, analysis of global and regional information was used. The amount of energy consumption of a factory that continues to operate in Antalya, invoices and tax charges paid for electricity were used. FACTRIC aims to reduce the contribution of electricity spent by factories to carbon emission and to spread green energy in industry.
... European University Institute 23 companies developing new services and products in the energy field (Küfeoğlu et al., 2019). Some of them have raised significant attention and financing, including from some of the traditional energy players, but in many cases they have not been able to scale and get out of their initial niches. ...
... On the flip side, due to rapid technological innovation and increasing competition in the energy market, traditional business models focusing exclusively either on business to business (B2B) or business to customer (B2C) are no longer sufficient for startups [27,28]. Digitalisation of the energy sector, distributed generation, and advancement in grid infrastructure have paved the way for new value propositions in many parts of the world [29]. In a survey commissioned by International Data Corporation (IDC), 93% energy utility companies have responded Energy-as-aservice (EaaS) as a most preferred business model in the coming future. ...
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... Here, Triangle aims to lend merchants a helping hand in terms of their card payments systems. As a digital based solution, Triangle aims to improve the efficiency of the businesses [2]. Blockchain and IoT technologies appear as the key elements of this project. ...
Technical Report
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... With the overpopulation and global warming, energy scarcity is one of the most important problems for the mankind. A unified effort to turn to renewable energy sources is becoming increasingly important to combat these crises, among many other initiatives [1]. To fight this issue there has been some attempts on nature-based energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, etc... [2] However, thanks to developing technology men will not totally depend on nature-based energy sources inconsistencies. ...
Artificial intelligence (AI) serves as a technological driver for business model innovation by guiding decisions and automating services, thereby leveraging efficiency-enhancing and profitable business practices. Especially in the electric power industry, a multitude of start-ups have entered the market offering disruptive AI-based services. However, there has been little research to date on what concrete business models result from the diffusion of AI and how these might be classified. In view of this research gap, this paper contributes to a better understanding of start-ups in the electric power industry that use AI technologies by systematically developing a business model taxonomy. In addition, we conducted 12 semi-structured interviews with domain experts for the evaluation step and validated the robustness of the taxonomy based on cluster analysis to identify common business model archetypes. Finally, we derived and discussed the academic and practical implications of our research and highlighted future research avenues.
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Cambridge Core - Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Tomorrow 3.0 - by Michael C. Munger
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Brazilian water and electricity utilities demand management tools to allow their customers to analyze, monitor and control their consumption of these goods. From a social perspective, efficiency requires involved and active of clients who can monitor and audit the actual consumed amounts as well as the values saved as new habits are established.In response to this twofold demand, the proposed system automates remote metering and sub-metering of water and electricity (internal to the residence, installed at interest points) and is integrated into a structured knowledge tool. This integration environment receives the collected electricity and water meter measurements. It provides customers and utility companies with compiled reports containing the historical use, daily and hourly forecasts, and projected savings due to changes in consumption habits and/or use of more efficient equipment. For developing countries with social diversity, such as Brazil, this tool can make a difference in raising awareness by identifying actual consumption.Moreover, this solution adds a new component to the relationship between energy businesses and clients/customers, who can audit and verify their consumption as well as check the reliability of the energy/water service provided.
Article
Smart grids have become a topic of intensive research, development, and deployment across the world over the last few years. The engagement of consumer sectors—residential, commercial, and industrial—is widely acknowledged as a key requirement for the projected benefits of smart grids to be realized. Although the industrial sector has traditionally been involved in managing power use with what today would be considered smart grid technologies, these past applications have been one-of-a-kind, requiring substantial customization. This paper provides an overview of smart grids and of electricity use in the industrial sector. Several smart grid technologies are discussed, with particular focus on the promising topic of automated demand response. Four case studies from aluminum processing, cement manufacturing, food processing, and industrial cooling plants are reviewed. Future directions in the development of interoperable standards, advances in automated demand response, and more dynamic markets are discussed.
Conference Paper
Machine learning systems offer unparalled flexibility in dealing with evolving input in a variety of applications, such as intrusion detection systems and spam e-mail filtering. However, machine learning algorithms themselves can be a target of attack by a malicious adversary. This paper provides a framework for answering the question, "Can machine learning be secure?" Novel contributions of this paper include a taxonomy of different types of attacks on machine learning techniques! and systems, a variety of defenses against those attacks, a discussion of ideas that are important to security for machine learning, an analytical model giving a lower bound on attacker's work function, and a list of open, problems.
Article
Purpose – Advanced analytics‐driven data analyses allow enterprises to have a complete or “360 degrees” view of their operations and customers. The insight that they gain from such analyses is then used to direct, optimize, and automate their decision making to successfully achieve their organizational goals. Data, text, and web mining technologies are some of the key contributors to making advanced analytics possible. This paper aims to investigate these three mining technologies in terms of how they are used and the issues that are related to their effective implementation and management within the broader context of predictive or advanced analytics. Design/methodology/approach – A range of recently published research literature on business intelligence (BI); predictive analytics; and data, text and web mining is reviewed to explore their current state, issues and challenges learned from their practice. Findings – The findings are reported in two parts. The first part discusses a framework for BI using the data, text, and web mining technologies for advanced analytics; and the second part identifies and discusses the opportunities and challenges the business managers dealing with these technologies face for gaining competitive advantages for their businesses. Originality/value – The study findings are intended to assist business managers to effectively understand the issues and emerging technologies behind advanced analytics implementation.
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