How can energy demand be flexibly managed and decentral resources be used more efficiently?Vienna's power system is increasingly influenced by distributed renewable energy resources. How can new business models and technologies contribute to the management of energy use to better meet this fluctuating power supply?
In decentralised energy systems electrical generation and storage is performed by a variety of small, grid-connected devices referred to as distributed energy resources (DER). These are located close to the load they serve and typically use renewable energy sources. DER can be operated by either commercial providers (e.g. small hydro or wind power plants) or private households and businesses that feed surplus energy from their local photovoltaic or geothermal system etc. to the public grid.
So far, this form of energy production by consumers (“prosuming”) still is at an early development stage and the required legal framework as well as technical prerequisites like smart meters are only gradually being rolled-out. Nonetheless, growing consumer interest and the need for decarbonisation/diversification of the energy system are strong drivers that will transform the energy system and pose a challenge to transmission system operators (typically public monopolies). In 2025, up to 20 % of electricity customers could be “prosumers”. This will boost the need for matching the increasingly volatile energy supply with current demand patterns.
How can individual energy demand in cities be flexibly adjusted to fluctuating energy production and grid load from renewable sources, so that overall energy efficiency and carbon intensity can be optimised? Which new business models and innovative technologies could be provided and/or used by small businesses, private service providers, municipal grid operators, and citizens to flexibly consume energy in times of vast supply or provide energy in case of high demand?
The Climathon teams should work out probable consequences businesses and grid operators in the city will face in the context of these developments and put together suggestions on how to respond by technical, organisational and/or business adjustments. This could be an elaborated and pre-formulated concept or the development of a prototype (visualisation, mock-up, click-dummy, etc.).
Solutions should focus on:
- Incentive systems to influence consumer behaviour (e.g. by dynamic price setting, control signals, sharing models, etc.)
- Smart distribution systems for the carbon-efficient management of energy sypply and demand
- Smart feed-in and energy trading systems for prosumers
- Real-time management systems for energy demand taking into account current feed-in volumes
This challenge is hosted by MunichRe and ERGO. Selected teams will be invited to individual follow-ups with their insurance experts. Learn more about the Group's projects focusing on adjusting to climate change and sustainable innovation here: „Tackling climate change together“.