What it's about:
A large scale peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading market is being developed in the Netherlands.
This sustainable, customer-centric concept, combines renewable energy and novel technologies such as smart grids and blockchain to allow homeowners, local business, farmers and public buildings in the areas of Eemnes and Amersfoort to generate and trade energy.
A legal exemption was obtained from the Dutch Government in late December, allowing energy to be traded on a P2P network. The exemption enables the project to run for 10 years, during which, the pilot will be scaled up to around 4.000 participants. Such a pilot has never
before been developed in Europe at this scale.
The people of Eemnes in the Netherlands will be able to enjoy this novel technology from next year, as many of their homes have solar panels and the other infrastructure is being put in place. The municipality has been working for eight years on a focused policy in the area of sustainable energy and soon its citizens will be able to purchase and sell electricity from each other.
Belgian tech provider Enervalis and Dutch energy provider Eemnes Energie are working together with the municipality of Eemnes, housing corporation De Alliantie, Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden), the province of Utrecht, the Dutch Government and the European Union to establish and oversee the pilot.
Why it's noteworthy:
Some families with solar panels are generating more electricity than they need, for example during week days, when nobody is at home because they are at work or school. Meanwhile, many local businesses need electricity during the weekdays for their computers, lighting or utilities, but they don’t need it in the evenings or on weekends. This creates a poor distribution of power that then needs returning to the grid to be redistributed, costing both energy and money.
The potential benefits of this are impressive. Housing developers can build more energy efficient and futureproof housing, increasing their stock value; property owners can become 'prosumers' and earn money from their solar investment; consumers can buy their energy at better rates, when they need it most; countries can have greener, more sustainable energy sources that balance generation and demand; and communities can come together over shared interests and investment.
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