The new energy world requires new business models

It is becoming increasingly complex for power plant operators to decide which plants to use and when. On the one hand, this is because generation fluctuates at almost all grid levels. On the other hand, more electricity is in demand due to heat pumps and electric vehicles. Business models from the “old energy world” that promised reliable returns for a long time are no longer future-proof.

However, digitization and decentralization also offer new opportunities to manage plants (“assets”). Power plants and smaller decentralized plants can be managed more effectively and efficiently through digital and data-driven approaches, increasing profits. Operators can thus improve processes and develop new business models.

Companies need to properly assess their assets to strategically plan and make decisions – regardless of system-level or asset size. It also allows companies to create risk-based, predictive strategies for maintenance or make decisions about repowering – keeping old assets in operation.

The EWI evaluates assets and examines markets, grids, and the overall system with extensive know-how in optimization and machine learning-based simulation.

  • Economic asset valuation of hydrogen projects
  • Potential of different business models to operate regional virtual power plants

Asset valuation of hydrogen projects

The market ramp-up of hydrogen requires innovative and pioneering projects that test the technology’s early application in a market environment. The EWI supports companies in the economic asset assessment to analyze the profitability of such projects, for example, with scenarios for developing the energy system.

For the research project “Get-H2-Nukleus”, the EWI has developed a model to optimize the use of green hydrogen compared to conventional hydrogen for the supply of refineries using storage.

Potential analysis of regional virtual power plants

The EWI investigates business models of regional virtual power plants. To map the integrated optimization of electricity, heat, and mobility, the EWI uses various of its own models such as COMODO or DIMENSION. On the one hand, they can determine the diffusion of different assets such as heat pumps or CHP plants. On the other hand, the EWI can use them to identify future power plant parks and electricity prices.

The institute investigates the integrated marketing of households and their assets in the context of a regional virtual power plant with EWI’s model EASE. The wholesale markets, as well as the balancing power markets and different marketing approaches, are mapped.