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Lunar Energy joins smartEn to promote demand-side flexibility in Europe

Published on
February 28, 2023
5 min read

Lunar Energy is proud to join smartEn, the European business association advocating for the consumer-driven solutions of the clean energy transition. Comprising a diverse coalition of innovative businesses and organizations driving decarbonization, smartEn is Europe’s inter-industry voice for demand-side flexibility in energy markets. Leveraging its member diversity and international expertise, smartEn encourages flexibility market cooperation, advocates for distributed energy resource integration, and delivers insights and analysis on the European energy transition.

Here at Lunar, our mission to transition homes around the world to 100% clean energy closely aligns with smartEn’s goals and values. We are excited to join forces with other innovators working to accelerate distributed, digitalized, and decarbonized energy markets across Europe. 

Recently, many promising opportunities to use residential demand-side flexibility emerged in markets across Europe. As adoption of rooftop solar, energy storage, and other distributed energy resources (DERs) continues to grow, consumers are connecting more devices to the grid and gaining increased control over their own energy usage. This is creating opportunities for demand-side flexibility to deliver long-term savings by contributing to grid reliability and management through technologies like Lunar Gridshare. Gridshare has demonstrated its success in the United Kingdom, Japan, and more recently the United States. Whether through behind-the-meter (BTM) savings, grid services, or wholesale optimization, Gridshare adds value in markets around the world. 

The EU market has its own distinct challenges, evolving policy, and fragmentation between countries, but with Lunar's experience across multiple jurisdictions, and Gridshare's site-by-site approach to optimisation, we are confident we can deliver value throughout the region. 

The power of demand-side flexibility 

Demand-side flexibility (DSF) can be defined as the capability of an energy customer - or an aggregation of customers - to respond to external signals by adjusting their energy generation and consumption in a dynamic, time-dependent manner. By nature, DSF is highly customizable and technology agnostic, as it can be used by any controllable customer-owned, grid-connected device. 

smartEn calculates that by 2030, DSF can deliver more than €16 billion in grid management savings, €71 billion in direct energy savings to customers, and more than €300 billion indirect benefits such as lower energy prices, grid infrastructure upgrade deferrals, and reduced carbon emissions. In particular, the power system could save €9 billion alone by recovering “lost load”, which occurs when the available generation capacity cannot meet demand. While much of Europe’s recent lost load can be attributed to rising electricity demand and geopolitical conflict straining energy markets, it is often the result of inefficient generation and consumption – on both sides of the meter. By facilitating and incentivizing DSF, flexible energy markets can enable the grid to serve the entire grid load year round.

The future of DSF in Europe’s energy markets

Across Europe, solar and battery sales are exceeding forecasts, largely due to falling costs, rising energy prices, and increased incentives. Because of this, countries such as Austria, Italy, and Germany are leading the way with ESS installations, with Germany already boasting more than 600,000 ESS systems. Due to upcoming changes in dynamic tariff offerings, 0% VAT, and other incentives, as well as expected policy changes to increase smart meter rollout, ESS adoption in Germany is contributing to a resilient and decentralized energy grid.

Germany isn’t the only country making changes to its energy markets; many others are shifting structures towards greater flexibility and resiliency. Some have already implemented trial programs, opening up a multitude of commercial opportunities. Here are some of the markets where we’ve seen promising changes:

- UK: National Grid’s demand flexibility service is a perfect example of how residential flexibility can be incentivized and enacted. Many parties participate in the National Grid program, and its flexibility helps combat forecasted grid strain.

- Belgium: Transmission system operator (TSO) services in Belgium have seen successful residential participation in virtual power plants (VPPs) by lowering barriers to entry and making program requirements clearer.

- Italy: A large number of residential ESS have been funded by the Italian superbonus, although more work from owners and aggregators is needed to integrate this capacity to aid the system.

A number of innovative solution providers in the EU are actively trying to create compelling customer offers for smart devices, while balancing this with the value they can provide to the system through demand side flexibility. Gridshare is already succeeding at enabling solution providers to do this, through aggregate and individual load prediction, Lunar allows a fleet owner to co-optimise residential energy use and flexibility services, to maintain value (and lower cost) for the end customer, the fleet owner, and the flexibility buyer (retailer, TSO, DSO). 

Lunar Energy’s commitment to DSF

Lunar Energy is designing and engineering the world's best clean energy products to electrify all homes and connect communities to form clean, resilient virtual power plants — making our energy cleaner, safer, more secure and reliable for everyone. 

As a smartEn member, we look forward to expanding access to demand-side flexibility and advocating for continued development of Europe’s flexible energy markets. 

Get in touch if you want to learn more about how Gridshare can deliver value for your business and customers.

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