The trend away from centralized utilities and toward decentralized energy production, especially through renewable resources like wind and solar, the availability of solar roofing, and the like means that the average person is increasingly in the position of selling excess energy back to the utility or to an energy marketplace. These types of trading systems are common for financial instruments and commodities, but until recently were not available for trading small amounts of energy.
IndustryTap has written about Tesla’s Powerwall and how it will be used by small energy producers to store and distribute energy. Now a company in Germany, Sonnenbatterie, has launched a new renewable energy trading platform specifically for owners of small solar and wind generators. Sonnenbatterie’s new product is called the PV-Plus-Storage Energy Trading Platform, or sonnenCommunity. Sonnen is a leading provider of storage systems in Germany and the company has teamed with the 100% renewable utility Linchtblick.
Due to regulations in Germany, producers of electricity are not permitted to route excess capacity back into the grid. The only action permitted is to take power from the grid and store it. Sonnen connects customers through its virtual trading platform allowing members to feed power in and take power out in real time.
According to Sonnen, the new system pays fees for the grid as any electric company does, pays the value added tax (VAT), and an electric power tax. In this way, Sonnen uses the existing grid and doesn’t need to install its own cables from customer to customer. The Sonnenbatterie system uses hardware, smart meters, and software to make sure energy in the system is balanced in real time.
The following video explains how sonnenCommunity works.