The challenges for our future energy system
The world of energy is changing. There is a global urge to drastically reduce CO2 emissions in order to slow down global warming.
Nations are reducing their dependency on imported fossil fuels by stimulating energy savings and the use of renewable energy.
Sustainable sources, such as solar and wind energy, are not always available. Integrating large shares of renewable energy in our current energy supply system in a reliable way provides a real challenge.
Our energy use is shifting towards electricity. This trend is accelerated by the fast growing fleet of electric vehicles and the increase of electric space heating and cooling. The electrification of our energy use adds to the challenges that our future energy supply system faces.
A need to democratize the energy market
Energy communities that locally produce sustainable electricity and aim to become energy self-sufficient are booming.
These groups of local consumers and producers, or “prosumers”, are becoming more and more important players in our energy supply. To be able to cater for their energy feed-in needs, be it electricity, natural gas or even heat, current distribution grids will need to transform into fully bidirectional systems.
Our current energy value chain however is based on a top down approach, with energy flowing from plant to consumer. It was not designed with two-way traffic in mind nor prepared for the introduction of new market roles such as aggregators and energy service companies.
A ‘new order’ in energy supply is therefore needed that optimally matches the changing context of our society.