BEIS awards £1.6m for a project to find a new approach to energy trading


A FIRST of its kind project seeks to develop, integrate and scale a flexibility exchange that optimises renewable energy integration into the UK’s changing energy markets.

Led by energy technology company Electron, the TraDER consortium brings together Community Energy Scotland, CGI, EDF, Elexon, Energy Systems Catapult, Kaluza and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, alongside other key players in the emerging flexibility arena including Downing LLP and United Utilities.

The two-year project aims to deliver a single access point to multiple energy services such as balancing, stability and network capacity, making it quicker and simpler for assets to provide these services.

Joanna Hubbard, Electron’s CEO and Co-Founder, commented on the news: “We want to make it easier for distributed energy resources to play their full role in lowering the cost and carbon intensity of managing the grid.

“This starts with delivering the world’s first marketplace for network capacity: a market in which renewable generators can pay flexible assets to make space for them on an increasingly congested grid.

“This means we can bring more low cost, low carbon generation into the system and create new revenue opportunities for clean technology operators.”

The project has been awarded £1,604,264 by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy as part of its FleX competition.

Ms Hubbard continued: “Longer term, TraDER also presents us with an opportunity to bring together previous work on aligning and simplifying asset registration processes and coordinating flexibility markets through price signals.

“We believe that these are the key enablers for transparent, liquid markets that will support the transition to net zero.”

The market will go live first on the Orkney islands, where renewable energy generation often exceeds grid capacity, before combining other markets for collaborative trading.

ELEXON Chief Executive, Mark Bygraves, commented on the project: “We are pleased to support the development of electricity flexibility exchanges as they could play an important role in helping businesses and other flexibility options, such as storage providers, to trade electricity locally.

“TraDER is a crucial step in unlocking the full value of flexibility by integrating assets into a smart, efficient and flexible energy system.

“The wealth of experience brought by all of the project partners, combined with the innovative approach to trading, makes this initiative an exciting development in delivering a whole system approach to trading.”

The final objective is that by the conclusion of the project, customers will be better able to engage in energy trading and offer services to System Operators.

The Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, added: “If we are to end our contribution to climate change by 2050, it is vital that we explore innovative methods to integrate low carbon sources into our energy system.

“Building an online marketplace where households and businesses can trade flexibility will make our system more efficient and reduce energy bills.”