One short stop in Hamburg
After the inspiring episode in Schönau, it is now time for the Tournesol team to climb on a bus for the long ride to Hamburg, Germany. We are the pleasure there to meet with Jan Gratenau of Hanswerk. Hanswerk is a local subsidiary of E.ON and manages the grid of the island of Pellworm.
Just a quick recap regarding the island of Pellworm: The island is situated in the north of Germany in the North Sea (see http://www.tournesol-microgrids.org/fr/les-projets-de-micro-reseaux/ for more info). The island is a the home of around 2000 people and is part of the land Schleswig-Holstein. Pellworm was transformed by E.ON into a grid lab were experiment on the integration of energy storage and high amounts of renewable energies was conducted. Following those integrations in 2015, E.ON continued to try new ways of developing the business models for the localized grid, and to make experiments around the business cases for the integration of the new technologies in the grid. As Mr. Gratenau made it clear, the island of Pellworm is made to be a miniature version of the German electrical grid.
However, and after talking about the Pellworm project, the discussion turned toward our personal beliefs in how the grid is going to evolve in time. The discussion turned especially around the idea of a local energy market and how to implement it. Today in Europe, and especially in Germany, a global stock market allows the trading of the energy throughout the whole country (and Europe). It basically looks like a stock exchange but that sales kWh. The idea is to extend this market to all electricity consumers, as it is almost the case in Sweden. Mr. Gratenau is defending the idea that a global market is more profitable because it allows a better management of the kWh price via market price. The idea would be that the incentives to save energy and/or change the sources of energy will be based on a global market that then would send ripples toward more delocalized networks that would adapt their behavior in reaction to it (like disconnection). At Tournesol, our position is that a local market is preferable because it allows the people to have a direct impact on the price and it would encourage a local view of the energy usage. The price signal of the local markets would then be sent to a global market that would manage that wider energy-flows between the cell-like networks. What do you guys think ? Any arguments pro or against a certain solution ? Comment below and let us know !
Beside this topic, we had the chance to discuss a lot of others. We hope that you will enjoy the interview. It will be posted shortly, so take a look ! Thank you very much to Mr. Gratenau for his input, and this fascinating discussion. You are showing us that the microgrid transformation as still a long way to go, but it is good to see that we are not alone on the way !
And now on to Berlin for our special workshop at the EUREL Campus.