With grid edge projected to be key to tackling the energy transition, a joint research project has assessed the needs and readiness of 36 countries worldwide.
In late November, Siemens, Technische Universität Berlin and the University of Oxford published a paper, scoring countries based on a comprehensive index they defined to assess the opportunities and barriers for grid edge solutions. As formerly passive consumers become active prosumers, with energy generation increasingly relying on renewables, the grid edge – the interface between supply and demand – is becoming more important than ever. Grid edge technologies will therefore be key to the energy transformation and include electric vehicles (EVs) to heat pumps, solar panels and smart meters.
The paper focused on five regions previously at the forefront of developing and adopting modern energy technologies: Finland, Germany, Singapore, California and the UK.
Finland was found to have the highest readiness (70.2) due to its plans for a flexibility market and high carbon price, followed by Germany (66.3). Singapore had a lower need (37.1) due to moderate ambitions for introduction renewables to its energy mix, while California had the highest (68.5) due to its solar panel penetration.
The UK was found to be among the leaders in readiness (64.1) and need (62.8) for grid edge technologies. The government being willing to invest, along with the presence of aggregators, existence of a carbon price and availability of incentives for electrification of different services saw it score well politically and economically. It was found to lag behind, however, in skills to install and maintain grid edge technologies as well as to use and engage with them, while penetration of smart meters and average bandwidth of internet connection were also among the lowest of the focus regions.