Distinguished as “Great EU-funded Innovation”
The EU Commission has recently added the ICT technology “Cooperative Flexibility Platform (CFP)” to the league of high-potential EU-funded innovations featured in the EU Innovation Radar. Among other benefits, the distinguished CFP technology will create new business models for local energy communities, empowering end-consumers to become key protagonists in the energy transition. Austrian clean-tech company cyberGRID was mentioned as a Key Innovator in this recognized innovation.
What is the EU Innovation Radar
The EU Innovation Radar is an initiative by the European Commission to highlight innovations with excellent potential from EU-funded R&D projects. For the Innovation Radar, independent experts are engaged to evaluate ongoing R&I projects funded by the EU (under Horizon 2020, Framework Programme 7 (FP7) or the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP)). Because of their inherent neutrality, these experts can provide objective opinions about the relevance of the innovations in the projects and their market potential.
By means of an intricate methodology to categorise the innovations under assessment, four different maturity levels are then bestowed on each respective innovation. From Market-Ready to Tech-Ready, and from Business-Ready to Exploring, these maturity levels indicate how far along these products are on their path towards commercialisation.
In the EU Innovation Radar, the high-potential CFP technological innovation was identified as “Business-Ready”, meaning that this tool is ‘Advanced on market preparation”, and that concrete market-oriented activities like business plans, and end-user engagement ideas have been brought together. This means that the CFP is useful to potential market participants, and that it represents a relevant application in real-life situations.
What is the Cooperative Ownership of Flexibility Assets Platform (CFP), honoured in the EU Innovation Radar?
The highly innovative CFP recently recognized in the EU Innovation Radar is a cloud-based software solution, developed within the scope of H2020 project Crossbow – a European-wide project, designed to enable cost-efficient flexibility utilisation and monetisation of prosumers forming energy communities.
In more detail, the Cooperative Ownership of Flexibility Assets Platform (CFP) allows owners of energy assets to join forces and provide flexibility to different electricity markets. With the CFP, different providers of energy capacities such as industrial and business parks, renewable energy farms, but also local energy communities and small prosumers can make use of a new business model, empowering them to organize themselves as cooperatives.
Because by bundling these distributed renewable resources (so-called flexibilities) to perform together as one large energy asset, the CFP increases economic benefits, which small units (e.g., single PV plants) would not be able to achieve on their own. With the CFP, a large pool of individual capacities is thus aggregated, overcoming economic thresholds and making profits for communities with economies of scale.
With the Cooperative Ownership of Flexibility Assets Platform (CFP), single households are empowered to group together as an energy community. Photocredit: pixabay
Societal benefits of CFP
Energy communities can produce a mix of solar, wind and even hydro power, often supported by energy storage devices (batteries). These communities are currently thriving on citizens’ increased interest in the energy transition with the implementation of the legislative framework of the Clean Energy Package. Because with energy communities, individual efforts in climate action are directly translated into societal benefits like decarbonisation. And the CFP technology contributes to boost the active participation of single citizens and communities to encourage social energy actions.
CFP with attractive business model
But apart from the collective benefit of integrating a larger share of clean energies into a sustainable energy system, the CFP also comes with an attractive business model for energy communities. Because the technology can monetise the bundled energy assets on different energy markets, new revenue streams are created for such cooperatives. In many cases, the profits from the energy generated from pooled renewable sources will then offset the initial infrastructure investments in solar panels and wind turbines.
The cooperative ownership platform is in line with existing country-level regulations. Furthermore, it even allows for multinational ownership of flexibility assets helping to decrease some of the barriers to technology uptake.
The Cooperative Ownership of Flexibility Assets Platform (CFP) allows owners of energy assets to join forces and provide flexibility to different electricity markets. Photo credit: pixabay
More power to the people with the CFP
With the distinguished CFP technology, end-consumers can now become key protagonists in the energy transition, contributing to improved EU-wide energy efficiency and wide-spread decarbonisation.
Usually, high-end energy technology like Virtual Power Plants and Demand Response systems are owned and operated by large electricity retailers. However, their business objectives typically differ from the ideas of the actual owners of flexibility, i.e. from end-consumer/prosumer with PV panels. But with the CFP, communities have a tool to monetise their energy assets for their own collective benefit. People contributing to an energy community thus gain a stronger sense of empowerment to fight climate change, and to produce energy for the sake of financially strengthening their natural locality.
cyberGRID identified as Key Innovator
Within the recognition of the CFP software solution, cyberGRID was identified as a “Key innovator”. This acknowledgement is bestowed as a result of the company’s involvement in the Horizon 2020 framework, the largest research and innovation funding programme in Europe.
“It’s an honour to be named a key innovator by the European Commission. To receive this recognition among many technology providers proves that our cleantech software solution has the ability to accelerate the energy transition and to build the energy system of the future.”
Peter Nemcek, CTO at cyberGRID
As the Leader of the respective Crossbow work package involving the CFP development, cyberGRID is happy about the accolade and congratulates all consortium members for contributing to this leading-edge project for additional sustainability of the energy system that is also economically viable.
To learn more about the technological details for the CFP and its benefits for energy communities, watch this