MAS²TERING D1.3: “Workshop 3, Business Convergence II”
D1.3 Executive summary
This report provides information related to the organization, conduct, discussions and outcomes of the 3rd Mas2tering workshop titled “Business Conference II: Grid Operators, Telecoms and Utilities.” The workshop was held 30 June 2016 in Anglet, France and was co-located with the 3rd edition of the Sustainable Places conference. The workshop was structured in the following manner:
Introduction and presentation of the Mas2tering project with emphasis on its business model:
3 presentations from invited smart grid stakeholders
o The USEF foundation (supporting framework)
o Easy Smart Grid (technology developer)
o Blaenau County Borough Council (government and customer segment)
A guided panel discussion
In total, between 20-30 participants contributed to the workshop.
The invited presentations were insightful and are available on the Mas2tering webpage. Presentation summaries are included in this report with focus on how they impacted the panel discussion and/or relate to the Mas2tering project. Highlights include discussions on the role of the local area aggregator and mechanisms to make this new stakeholder feasible a viable business, a perspective on peer to peer energy trading in real time markets in a scenario where aggregators are no longer needed, select islands as market points of entry for new innovations because they are niche markets where regulatory aspects (present on mainlands) are avoided, and municipal rehabilitation projects as an opportunity for smart grid technology development and as an opportunity for municipalities to assume the role as smart grid market facilitators.
Primary outcomes of the workshop include:
The development of a market transition model that facilitates smart grid discussions by identifying market phases and pinpointing the business rationale of the actors within it. Namely, suppliers targeting individual prosumers with new services and aggregators targeting local energy communities.
The development of Mas2tering business cases complementary to the project storyline and market transition model.
Identification of the need for continued research into approaches for the modeling and estimation of the global net benefit of flexibility management solutions across stakeholders.
Discussion of the barriers to the uptake of the business model opportunity of the Local Flexibility Aggregator (role of actors, consumer uptake, monitoring controls and technologies)
Discussion of the DSO value proposition for local flexibility management. The avoidance of annual predictable peak events seems the most agreed-upon starting point.
Improved clarity on the market point of entry for the Mas2tering flexibility management platform and the consideration of municipalities as a customer segment / facilitator for smart grid technologies and services.
The workshop served as a tool for the development of D1.5 (Business Strategies and Collaboration Opportunities). A complete discussion of the concepts in this report are elaborated in D1.5.
Once again, a workshop with industrial and research oriented participants alike was a useful instrument for the Mas2tering project to ensure its direction is relevant to the community. In this 3rd workshop and 2nd and final installment of the business model convergence series, we were able to interact with other research projects, targeted industrial smart grid actors (suppliers, DSOs, governmental agencies, energy network operators), research groups and the developers of smart grid technologies. It proved effective to co-locate with the Sustainable Places conference and it proved effective to have a workshop structure that included not only the Mas2tering project, but presentations from targeted stakeholders outside to the consortium. It was also effective to have a guided panel session that had prepared questions, but also provided the flexibility to adapt to the discussion points of the participants.
From the workshop, we gained insights that directly contributed to the development of project deliverable D1.5 (Business Strategies and Collaboration Opportunities) and that also led to the shaping of the project business cases and validation plan. The business cases directly relate to the view on how the market will transition and how suppliers and aggregators will position within it.
As main outcomes and conclusions, we list:
Discussions related to smart grid business models must position themselves both with respect to the point in time being discussed (or level of market maturity) and business rationale of the stakeholders being discussed. Resultant to this workshop, Mas2tering developed a view on market transition and this has been related to the project use and business cases.
Continued research is needed into approaches for the modeling and estimation of the global net benefit of flexibility management solutions across stakeholders. The inability to quantify the benefits of flexibility management solutions presents a barrier to their development and uptake.
Sharpening of the envisioned role of the LFA and its ability to deliver value to multiple actors
The role of the DSO and ability to quantify the DSO value proposition for local flexibility management remains an area where continued work is needed. The avoidance of annual predictable peak events seems the most agreed-upon starting point.
Suppliers and Aggregators will develop flexibility management products and services in parallel. Suppliers will target prosumers to offer new services and aggregators will target local energy communities to expand their flexibility portfolios. In a mature market, suppliers and aggregators will likely merge.
Municipalities may be an attractive customer segment related especially to large-scale public projects and/or their vision to serve as a facilitator of smart grid concepts and potentially with a financial model behind it.
A complete discussion of the concepts in this report are elaborated in D1.5.
Once again, gratitude is expressed to the European Union, to the organizers of Sustainable Places and local area host Nobatek.