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Peer-to-Peer energy trading and community self-consumption


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Electricity markets are experiencing a shift to a more decentralized structure. While peer-to-peer (P2P) markets are a promising strategy to grant consumers and small-scale producers a more active role in energy markets, in reality they face multiple complex barriers. As one of the first local P2P energy markets worldwide actually deployed, the Quartierstrom project explores the feasibility and impact of a P2P energy market in the real world in a pilot with 37 households.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Peer-to-Peer energy trading and community self-consumption

  1. 1. Verena Tiefenbeck Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) Webinar UsersTCP – User-Centered Energy Systems Nov. 28, 2019 Peer-to-Peer energy trading and community self-consumption
  2. 2. In a nutshell… Switzerland’s first local peer-to-peer electricity market (and one of the first worldwide) • Community of 37 households (+ retirement home) • Field phase started in January 2019 • Goal: evaluating real-world feasibility • Research focus on technical feasibility, market design, and user behavior Results • Technical aspects: challenging, but can be solved • Self-consumption and self-sufficiency of the community almost doubled • Users were more active than expected 2
  3. 3. The project is supported by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy within the framework of its pilot, demonstration and flagships program. 3 Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) Universities Industry Partners
  4. 4. In Quartierstrom, we implemented a peer-to-peer electricity market in the real world and evaluate its practical feasibility. Main research focus of the team at ETH Zurich & University of St. Gallen • Technical feasibility (blockchain architecture) • Market design and mechanisms • User interaction and engagement Project partners lead work on • Business models • Regulatory aspects • Privacy aspects 4
  5. 5. Peer-to-peer energy markets Trading solar energy among peers 5
  6. 6. The energy market is undergoing a fundamental transformation. 6 • Increasing number of smaller, distributed generators Yesterday Today Tomorrow? • Centralized production • One-directional flow of electricity • Energy generation primarily in big power plants • Centralized wholesale market • Prices do not reflect availability of renewable energy, but spot prices on wholesale market • Consumers without PV panels do not benefit from the decentralization of the energy system • Peer-to-peer electricity trading • Prosumers sell electricity directly in local community • Consumers without PV panels may benefit from buying local electricity • Prices reflect availability of renewable energy
  7. 7. Typical demand and solar production profile over the course of the day 7 Solar production Consumption Self-consumption Import from grid 0 18126 24 Store / export to grid
  8. 8. In Quartierstrom, self-consumption is prioritized over trading in the community; the grid serves as backup. 8 1 2 Meier family Excess production is offered for sale in community Utility company 3 Production that cannot be sold locally is fed into the grid
  9. 9. Field test: Walenstadt Modern infrastructure and high prosumer ratio 9
  10. 10. The town of Walenstadt is located in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen. 10
  11. 11. 11 Innovative utility company WEW Existing prosumers (31 of 37) Modern billing infrastrucutre Charging stations close by Existing storage systems (9) The pilot community already featured an innovative energy infrastructure before we started the project.
  12. 12. The field phase of the project went live in January 2019 12 Dec 2018 Apr 2018 Participant recruitment Letter/Informal meeting Sep 2018 Installation of the infrastructure & Pre-experimental survey Mar 2020 Project end Quartierstrom live Participants interact with WebApp, utility company uses Quartierstrom for accounting Dec 2019 End of the field experiment Post- experimental survey Start of the field experiment Montly reports, billing & short surveys Integration of community battery Jun 2019
  13. 13. Our system design 13
  14. 14. Quartierstrom is based on a private blockchain validated by the producing participants of the system. 14 • Each consumption, production and storage point is represented by its own device and agent • The producers (PV systems) have the authority to validate transactions and application execution • Blockchain data is scraped and made available to the participants via a web interface Market Application Block Explorer J S J S J S J S J S Prosumer / Validator Consumer / Client Utility / Validator Smart Meter Agent Full / Light Node Application Programming Interface Image: Arne Meeuw, Bosch IoT lab
  15. 15. The technical implementation in the participants’ homes turned out to be rather challenging. 15 Modem SmartPI Device for data readout and status checks Remote monitoring of devices from the office in Zurich
  16. 16. User interface: The Quartierstrom WebApp informs users about their energy data. 16Image: Liliane Ableitner, Bits to Energy Lab, 2019
  17. 17. ...but users also have an active role: they can set price limits for buying and selling local electricity. 17 User sets price limits Existing tariffs of the utility provider Image: Liliane Ableitner, Bits to Energy Lab, 2019
  18. 18. An auction mechanism determines who buys and sells electricity from whom at which price. 18 Central optimization Auction Mechanism Bilateral negotiation Central order book collects supply, demand and price preferences. Orders are matched by auction mechanism
  19. 19. The auction mechanism computes trades based on the participants’ bids. • Smart meters send bids containing electricity consumption/production each 15 minutes (ex post measurement) • Prices in bids are determined by participants via graphical interface on web portal Bid: Bidder Volume Price limit Bid: Bidder Volume Price limit Bid: Bidder Volume Price limit Bid: Bidder Volume Price limit Trade: Buyer Seller Volume Price per Unit Bid: Bidder Volume Price limit Trade: Buyer Seller Volume Price per Unit Trade: Buyer Seller Volume Price per Unit
  20. 20. Electricity is allocated using a double auction mechanism every 15 minutes. • Smart meters submit bid with load measured every 15 minutes • Consumers define willingness to pay for local electricity and prosumers minimum price they ask for • Time-discrete double auction with discriminative pricing • Auction is cleared every 15 minutes 20Image: Anselma Wörner, Bits to Energy Lab
  21. 21. Auction-based real-time prices in the community reflect the availability of solar energy. 21Image: Anselma Wörner, Bits to Energy Lab
  22. 22. Substantial increase in self-sufficiency and self-consumption rate of microgrid 22 Self-consumption Where does the production go? Self-sufficiency Where does the electricity come from?
  23. 23. The peer-to-peer market almost doubled the share of electricity produced (and consumed) locally. Without Quartierstrom-system: • Self-sufficiency: 19.3 % • Self-consumption: 31.6 % With Quartierstrom-System: • Self-sufficiency: 35.9 % • Self-consumption: 58.7 % Quartierstrom data, Jan.-Oct. 2019:
  24. 24. Wrap up 24
  25. 25. Wrap up • First blockchain-based local energy market (peer-to-peer exchange) • Field experiment in pilot region with 37 participating households live since Jan 2019 • 75 “blockchain-enabled” smart-meters with software agent, client & nodes • Double auction running on Tendermint BFT blockchain, cleared every 15 minutes • Participants are more active on web portal than anticipated • Self-consumption rate and self-sufficiency almost doubled 25
  26. 26. Thank you very much for listening! Please visit our websites 26 Verena Tiefenbeck ETH ZURICH Scientific supervision Anselma Wörner ETH ZURICH Market design Arne Meeuw UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN Development Felix Wortmann UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN Scientific supervision Sandro Schopfer ETH ZURICH Project lead / development Liliane Ableitner ETH ZURICH Frontend & user experience
  27. 27. 75% of the participants use the web app on a regular basis. 27