Today, the energy industry is focused on achieving Net Zero emissions and a transition to renewable power production is taking central place. However, wind and solar power production exhibit natural fluctuations of volumes which need to be compensated for a secure and balanced grid operation. This can be achieved by adding flexibility to the energy system based on power storage, investments into power grid and flexible consumption. The flexibility needs to be managed in real time to ensure grid balancing and effective use of resources. Thus, the shift towards sustainability demands a closer look at the tools and technologies that will pave the way for a carbon-neutral future.
Smart metering, prosumers, Demand Response (DR), and power storage are innovations enabling the transition to so-called microgrids. These self-contained energy ecosystems hold the key to ensuring power supply reliability and grid balancing within specific areas. They can play a role of virtual power plant if these resources are aggregated and managed as one production asset communicating with DSO and acting as a power asset on the market. An integral part of such micro grid are the software tools which enable management and optimization of complex flexible energy systems.
While ComTech Advisory has traditionally focused on market analysis for software vendors in the ETRM/CTRM segment, we’re now extending our reach to encompass the analysis of software vendors supporting the energy transition and therefore actively shaping the energy industry’s future.
The essential tools in this new landscape are DERMS (Distributed Energy Resource Management System) and VPP (Virtual Power Plant) software. These two pillars play kind of complementary roles. DERMS provides seamless integration and operation of individual Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) within the grid, ensuring efficient and stable operation. VPP software aggregated the collective power of these DERs, creating flexible and responsive virtual power plants capable of actively participating in energy markets.
Yet, these are pieces of a larger puzzle. There is an array of software tools required for a successful energy transition. It begins with effective data management, encompassing real-time data analysis, forecasting, predictive analytics, and other AI tools. Optimization of microgrids involving demand response coordination and battery management is important, but so is seamless communication with Transmission System Operators (TSO) and Distribution System Operators (DSO) as well as accesses to the power market. And, finally, there is a crucial task of settlement and invoicing for the distributed prosumers ensuring transparency of physical and financial transactions between integral parts of the micro grids.
ComTech Advisory is planning to extend market analysis to include this landscape of manifold software tools which are an integral part of the journey towards a decarbonized energy future.