I have been working in different national and international projects in the areas of ICT and energy since 2010 motivated by the vision of realising a decentralised energy system – supplied a 100 % from renewable energy sources.
Recently, I have started working on a new project called ‘GOFLEX’. GOFLEX is funded by the European Commission and realised by a team of commercial and scientific partners who want to make distributed renewable flexible energy systems a reality in Europe (www.goflex-project.eu). We are convinced that one company or project alone cannot accomplish this effort. For that reason, we decided to create the GOFLEX Community and invite all who are interested in working on this issue together to join us.
The GOFLEX community is designed as an interactive community to exchange knowledge and information among such companies, initiatives and projects that try to make local participatory flexible energy systems based on renewables a business success. Everybody who is interested in this issue or already contributing to it is invited to become a member of our community to share information, inspire and encourage us and other members.
The current energy system is transforming from a centralised system based on fossil fuels and nuclear power to a more decentralised system based on renewable energies. I believe, that this transformation will not only contribute to lower CO2-emissions, more network resilience due to its cellular structure and increased local energy autonomy. To today’s energy system, however, renewable energy sources still present a challenge. PV and wind generation is volatile and often located in the distribution grid (in Germany over 90%) and many distribution grids are not yet designed to deal with volatile generation. In addition, our energy system today is not prepared to support a participatory approach: Instead of organising controlled centralised energy production, it is about organising the complexity of thousands of mostly volatile generation sources. This requires a complete change in the system design.
And even though a lot of roadmaps and studies on how such a transformation could take place are available (I was participating in two of these attempts), none of these roadmaps can assess or predict all of its parameters. Predictions in this area are very quickly outdated. The reason behind this difficulty in predicting the future is quite simple: A bottom-up energy system develops according to the decisions of thousands of people. Each decision affects others, trends appear and disappear, political decisions (e.g. establishing or abolishing feed-in tariffs for prosumers) restructure whole areas of the system and give birth or destroy new business models. New technologies like blockchain or the internet of things disrupt our idea of what we think is possible.
This is why we do not try to predict anything here. Rather than that, we would like to collect encouraging examples from all over the world that demonstrate in various stages how this transformation can take place. We are interested in diversity and progress. I believe that energy flexibility will play a key role in this energy system of the future and I am especially interested in how flexibility can and will become a business case in these systems.
This community is meant to bring the forerunners, pilots and visionaries together to accelerate the shift in the energy system, which is so urgently needed.
You are more than welcome to join us!
Alexander von Jagwitz
Alexander von Jagwitz studied economics at the University of Köln before he gained practical experiences in sales, consultancy and management in the ICT industry. From 2003 to 2010 he worked as the assistant to the CEO of the German subsidiary of the Finnish Post Corporation (Itella Information Oyj) being responsible for internal ICT-projects in Germany and Europe. Since 2010, he has been part of the B.A.U.M. Consult senior management team and focuses on international projects addressing Smart Grids/Smart Energy research and innovation.