Siemens and German utility launch community power trading platform

by John Shepherd
Private energy producers can trade via the Pebbles app. Photo: AÜW
Siemens has teamed up with a Germany utility to enable small energy producers, such as those using rooftop solar, to trade power locally with homes and businesses.

The ‘Pebbles’ trading platform has been launched as a demonstration project, in partnership with regional power utility Allgäuer Überlandwerk (AÜW), in the Bavarian village of Wildpoldsried.

Siemens said the system allows private energy producers to market their electricity directly to local consumers via an app, "without going through marketers or traditional grid operators”.

The market platform also supports flexible power from battery storage or controllable loads such as heat pumps or charging stations for electric vehicles. 

'End-to-end transparency'

"The blockchain technology, which forms the basis for managing market transactions, is designed to create end-to-end transparency and trust between users,” Siemens said.

Pebbles, which is backed with funding from Germany’s federal economic affairs and energy ministry, aims to show that "bottlenecks in the grid can be avoided through local energy and flexibility trading”, Siemens said.

The project will initially run until November 2021.

Germany’s Kempten University of Applied Sciences and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology jointly developed the platform, management systems and app with Siemens and AÜW.

AÜW’s CEO Michael Lucke said the utility’s involvement was a proactive response to market demand. "We would rather act as an innovative platform operator, that supports the energy transition, than stay out of the game.”