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The future of the energy sector

Reshaping the energy market

The new complexity in the energy sector, created by more decentralized generation, new market players like distributed small-scale generators (“prosumers”), energy service companies (ESCO) and trading platforms, changing rules and greater public awareness, means we need a new way of thinking. This will also lead to new opportunities to stay one step ahead of the competition.

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A new way of thinking for the networked market

More and more new participants are getting involved in the energy market, including many prosumers who feed in comparatively small volumes of power, as well as companies from outside the energy industry that simply want to benefit from the changed rules and add a greater dynamism. These and other changes mean greater complexity for energy providers and grid operators. At the same time, the transformation also offers opportunities to shape the future of the energy market and secure new potential sources of revenue. All this requires a new way of thinking. The new, fragmented energy systems form a complex ecosystem with an emphasis on intelligent, dynamic, networked concepts rather than large, static, isolated solutions. Virtual power plants, for example, serve as the foundation for new business models and offer an opportunity to integrate the growing number of prosumers into the operation of the grid in a controlled manner. 

 

In addition to a new approach to the energy market, it will also be necessary to adapt technology to the new market situation. Networked, communications-capable hardware and software take on vital tasks, enable a fundamental, forward-looking analysis of all grid processes, and result in the best possible capacity utilization of resources and new business models. Only in this way will it be possible to respond swiftly to the increasingly stronger fluctuations in generation and consumption. 

 

This can also be used as a basis for developing customized products and services for power customers, as a way of retaining these customers in your own grids. A precise understanding of grid processes is a precondition for this, to be able to use powerful analysis potentials to predict relevant developments in the grids, and intervene to take control when necessary. This also requires open interfaces to share data between old and new market players. Every participant in this energy ecosystem works together to optimize the grids, security of supply and economic efficiency.

Products and solutions

Controlling a complex system

New opportunities for proactive market players

The energy market is growing into an ecosystem with many different players. Players can benefit from this change by actively helping structure it.

Networking of resources and players in the energy market – including power customers – is the most important consequence of the transformation of the energy sector. End-to-end digitalization is needed to be able to use and control the new ecosystem that is taking shape. And that’s why Siemens has already made available a comprehensive portfolio that takes this complexity into account and makes greater transparency and control possible.

 

In addition, it is not just generation and consumption that have become more volatile, but also the composition of the energy market and the associated regulatory framework. 

 

To be able to act swiftly and on target in spite of all this, you need agility – and that’s what Siemens’ products and services aim to provide. They’re based on precise measurement technology and the use of available data thanks to state-of-the-art analytical methods and the increasing use of smart meters. Further help comes from viable and flexible financing methods, new business models, end-to-end services and alternative operating strategies like virtual power plants. 

 

Additional agility is provided by products and services from Siemens, thanks to their open and modular design. That makes them future-proof and suitable for easy and flexible expansion to include new functions without impacting on the existing infrastructure. All of this helps existing market players to continue performing their old roles while picking up new tasks that offer additional earnings potentials. New players in the energy market also benefit from Siemens products and services and the company’s decades of experience to help remain viable for the long term in this complex environment.

References

Examples for new ways in the energy market

Actively restructuring the energy market calls for agility – with support from Siemens products and solutions. Some reference projects are listed below.

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