The power of “real-time” to transform renewable energy trading
As renewable power becomes central to our energy markets, informed real-time decision-making is fast becoming a business-critical capability for energy companies. But the reality is often complicated by siloed systems and batched manual processes.
New approaches to technology can fundamentally improve trading profits, support business resilience and establish flexible foundations for new business – all while enabling traders to trade. Origami’s Renewables+ fuses real-time data from your portfolio and the market, with machine-learning frameworks to enable better trading and risk management.
The world needs more solar and wind
International commitment to decarbonising power has significantly hardened recently. Despite that clearer direction, the detailed policy and technology roadmap remain uncertain.
One thing that has broad consensus is that solar and wind will be a huge part of the solution. By most estimates, the UK will need more solar and wind in 2050 than it currently has across all generation technologies.
Renewable markets are faster markets
The last decade saw solar and wind generation develop to more than 30% of GB capacity. Over the same period, the importance of Day-Ahead and Intraday exchanges increased five-fold from 3% to 16% of total volume. In the past few months, Ancillary Services to National Grid and DNOs have started to be traded via these same exchanges.
If solar and wind are to grow to 70% of capacity, more and more decision-making and value will gravitate towards time-pressured intraday markets, where weather conditions can be predicted more accurately.
In parallel, we may see settlement periods shortening from 30 to 15 or even 5 minutes duration, akin to Germany or Australia.
Making decisions under time pressure
In practice, making informed decisions in day-ahead and intraday markets is not straightforward. Data is often stale and resides in multiple unconnected tools or in monolithic systems where change is slow and expensive. Trading teams often compensate by developing their own tools or processes – but unwittingly persist a way of working that is ultimately unscalable.
New approaches to technology are needed to embrace the accelerating nature of energy markets. Systems need to be modular and interoperable by design. Data needs to be served to traders when and how they need it. Administrative workflows should be streamlined and, in many cases, automated. Systems must be designed to keep pace with change and to facilitate proprietary data, capabilities and processes.
Embracing “real-time” creates financial and strategic value
Making decisions quickly, based on good data, can unlock improvements in trading profitability, business resilience and new customer propositions.
Along with weather data, multiple studies show that real-time site monitoring is a significant driver of forecast accuracy, particularly in the few hours before trading closure. Better forecasts allow traders to engage earlier with the market and to control exposure to prices. Meanwhile, automation of administrative workflows and flexible aggregation/disaggregation of data enables the same trading team to manage more assets in more markets.
An integrated system for real-time decision-making also has significant benefits to business resilience. In codifying and connecting business processes, energy companies can mitigate risks of manual error (more prevalent under growing time pressure), reduce reliance on individual members of staff to support key processes and ensure robust risk monitoring and audit. Modular, cloud-hosted components can also minimise risks to availability and security.
Real-time situational awareness can also help energy companies identify and address operational issues at an earlier point. This may be as simple as needing to clean the snow off some solar panels on a cold, sunny spring morning.
When exposed through versatile interfaces or developer toolkits, real-time data and control can also unlock new customer-facing propositions and business models (e.g. personalised PPAs) that would previously have been too complex to manage at scale.
The Origami approach: Renewables+
Embracing real-time decision-making relies on bringing together today’s leading cloud technologies with company-specific data and applications. Meanwhile markets and technologies will continue to evolve, adding to the significant challenge that energy companies face.
Origami’s Renewables+ software enables energy companies to benefit from integrated capabilities to collect and analyse data, support decision-making and execute those decisions. Critically, while it simplifies much of the complexity of interacting with physical assets, it also enables users to configure its data streams, models and dashboards to leverage their proprietary advantage.
Click here to find out more about Origami Renewables+.