Renewable energy requires flexibility

To curb climate change and build a sustainable society, we need to increase the share of renewable energy production. Production volumes vary depending on the weather conditions, which is a challenge for the power grid.

The production and consumption of electricity must be balanced at all times to ensure disturbance-free power supply. The balance of the power grid can be maintained by temporarily increasing the production volume or by being flexible in terms of consumption. To temporarily increase the production volume, there are reserve power plants in Finland the energy production of which is based on fossil fuels. Maintenance of these reserve power plants, which are started up occasionally, is expensive for society.

The balance of the power grid can also be maintained by being flexible in terms of consumption. Properties consume around 40% of all the energy consumed in Finland, which means that they have a great deal of flexibility potential. If properties are connected to the energy system, they will consume less or more electricity, depending on the needs of the power grid.

Properties to benefit from electricity market

Virtual power plant service developed by Siemens and provided by VIBECO is an easy way to connect properties to the energy market so that they can promote a carbon neutral, sustainable future. The properties’ small electrical loads are combined to achieve a load that is large enough to be offered on the flexibility market. Previously, small electrical loads could not be used in flexible consumption.

The transmission system operators, for example Fingrid in Finland, pay compensation for flexibility that benefits all the properties included in the virtual power plant network. The virtual power plant service is an entirely new source of revenue for property owners, who typically receive investment or rental income from their properties.

Support for the trailblazers

The first customers of the virtual power plant service in Finland have the opportunity to receive subsidies for their technology investments. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has granted EUR 8.4 million of key energy project investment aid for the virtual power plant service. This investment aid ensures that operations which are significant for society as a whole proceed as quickly as possible.

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