Speakers: Marina Planas, Enric Asunción, Mark Boyd
The Energy Transition has meant a complete change of dynamics within the power market. From a vertical structure - generation to transmission to distribution - we are now moving towards a P2P network where the energy is managed through platform ecosystems.
The roles are no longer the same either. We are now talking about prosumers.
States Boyd “Energy is generated closer to home or to business, for example through solar panels, and then this energy is being stored. Sometimes it’s even pushed back to the grid for redistribution.” But how are APIs enabling that sort of ecosystem development?
This happens in a context where power supplies and energy consumption are being affected by geopolitical situations, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which contribute to war profiting. As well as an evident consumer demand for alternative and renewable energy sources as a response to the climate crisis - something the European ‘Green New Deal’ is presently pushing for.
Considering all these factors, Wallbox Chargers is seizing an opportunity to become a global leader for home charging. Asunción explains that “there is a huge transition to electric cars today and big companies like ABB or Schneider are focusing on that. But we are also seeing that people who buy an electric car immediately think of installing solar panels. So we want to become the energy management company for these customers.”
In ten years, the solution will be having the energy center at home, where you are able to coordinate everything, even redistributing to other users.
To achieve that, Wallbox is now working on three main pillars: branding and design - essential to create a community that will enable a shift towards P2P - investing on a software infrastructure that provides a recurrent revenue - through parent transactions with third parties - and innovation.
Around 30-40% of our budget goes to R&D and tech while more than half is dedicated to energy management.
Both NTWKers agree that having open standards enables this sort of ecosystem. “The energy data is heavily blocked at the moment and there is a need for it to open up so that companies can have insight on what is going on at the moment”, says Boyd.
With Europe’s five-year action plan for digitalizing the energy sector, it is a great time to advocate for greater data systems that allow new regulations and strategies to develop.
The fact that energy data is not as sensitive or private as that regarding health or finance could push for a balance where it could be protected by cybersecurity but not as closely restricted. There is a consensus that an accountability part should definitely be open.
On that line, Wallbox offers its users the possibility to follow an Open Charge Point Protocol, although it is still not an automatic process. “We should move towards a model like the one in Shanghai, where all the chargers are under a regulation that obliges companies to report their data to a central system built by the government. We are working on getting to that P2P system but we are still not there”, says Asunción.
However, while energy management in Europe is approached from an eco-smart functionality angle, other countries such as the US have other concerns, mainly blackouts and unstable grid consumption. “The difficult part when going for an energy transition is having a global solution. There are different suppliers for each country that respond to specific needs”, concludes Boyd. What is clear is that a P2P transition is the right step in that direction.
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