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In the context of the German energy transition (“Energiewende”), the portion of the renewable energy generation increases fast in Germany. Renewable power plants should generate at least 60% of the electricity consumption by 2035. Nevertheless, renewable energy sources are difficult to control and provide challenges to the electricity networks in more ways than conventional, more controllable sources. A simple replacement would cause a massive and cost-intensive network expansion. An alternative is the development of a more decentralized power supply in which consumption and generation are balanced on a local level. Small producers such as photovoltaic plants on house roofs, wind power plants or block-type thermal power stations are directly connected to the distribution grid.
In recent years, this decentralized expansion has gained momentum due to technologic advances (e.g. advances in PV technology), as well as political decisions (the federal government climate goals). As a result, 1.5 million photovoltaic systems and 25,000 wind turbines, owned by German citizens, are now involved in electricity generation. However, unlike operators of large power plants, the owners of these small plants are not allowed to actively participate in the energy market.
Energy markets are still aligned to sales on an international and national level. Therefore, no practical knowledge about whether these market mechanisms would work for smaller regional and local energy markets exists yet.
This is exactly where we step in:
- LAMP is a pilot and research project of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in cooperation with the energy retailer Energie Südwest AG and the software company Selfbits GmbH.
- We provide 20 households with a blockchain-based trading platform. Thus, the locally produced green energy can be traded among each other.
- Via an app, the households can adjust their personal electricity mix, according to their individual price setting for locally generated renewable energy, and can also sell their generated energy. The trading itself is handled on the platform by automatic agents in the background.
- Generation and consumption data are collected via special smart meters and stored on a blockchain. The app also gives each participant access to their individual trading and load data.
- We examine the resulting market prices for locally produced electricity from renewable energy sources, the market mechanism and the acceptance of the participants of local energy markets.
LAMP is the first implementation of a local energy market in Germany. The project is leading the decentralization of the energy markets in the course of the energy spills of Germany. More information about LAMP can be found here.
LAMP was selected in 2018 as one of the 4 most innovative ideas for future quarters and nominated for the NEO Award of the Technology Region Karlsruhe (https://technologieregion-karlsruhe.de/wir-ueber-uns/neo2018.html). Take a look at our application video here: