In 2009, Copenhagen hosted the UN Climate Change Conference and a group of us from NGOs, industry and startups came together to call for open access for consumers to permission the use of their energy data.
This was a radical idea, that your energy data was your own, and that permissioning it to be used by third parties would be good for the environment, innovation and for consumers. The US has seen states take on this principle to varying degrees.
Fast forward to 2018, LO3 Energy’s Exergy project is taking the principle of energy data permissioning and access one step further.
Beyond ‘consumer is king’ to a shared data commons where we all benefit
We – individuals, schools, commercial and industrial campuses, neighbourhoods — are an integral part of an emerging ‘grid-edge’ system where new distributed energy resources (DER) technologies such as electric vehicles, or rooftop solar PV, and advanced control networks are making it possible to generate, store and use electric power in entirely new ways.
Governance of the Exergy project
Currently, there is no incentive to ‘share’ energy data. We give it away for free and then pay for electricity (or heat, energy services). Existing market players know this data is valuable, which is why they tend to limit third party access to it. Unfortunately, not sharing the data significantly reduces its aggregate value, and our choices.
And consumers are calling for choice. 70% of us want to digitally manage energy or generate our own. This requires new thinking: How do we create digital assets that are share-able from energy data? How do we assure unambiguous ownership rights? How do we reward end users when they make their data available? What can be done with it once it is available? How do we ensure this contributes to an improvement over today’s energy system?
Staking and rewards
A rewards mechanism will be the first step in providing early incentives for data to be shared onto the platform. That could happen via a mobile app, with information as straightforward as your location and willingness to participate. Over time, the rewards for increasingly granular or ‘real-time’ streaming data would be even more valuable and come with greater rewards.
The XRG token is the distribution and permission mechanism for the digital assets our energy data creates. XRG is needed to permission an app or device to be part of the Exergy network.
The XRG token itself is valuable as the ticket to these marketplaces. It can be used in one’s devices, or traded to other market participants that would like to stake themselves or their customers. The more participants in Exergy clusters, the more the Exergy platform is utilized by market participants themselves to reward for the data required to create these services.
What can be done with new digital energy assets, and why is it better than what I have today?
Last week, nearly a decade after the UN conference, Copenhagen hosted another auspicious moment for energy transitions, the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting (CEM9). Startups, energy leaders and governments agreed: data is the new fuel for energy decentralization and democratization.
XRG turns each participant into a source of value for energy systems, and access new revenue streams as a result. Are you ok with not charging your EV tonight? You can be paid for that. Interested in selling electricity to the grid? Ditto. Your data could also be bundled in a range of services we have only begun to imagine. With grid edge data as a foundation of a common platform, the system benefits too. Higher utilization more renewable energy is possible, at lower cost.
The next decade will see even more change in our energy systems than the last. Our chief goal is that a standard data commons activates our role in that transition.
Molly Webb is leading on governance for LO3’s Exergy Project.
This article originally published in LO3's blog: https://lo3energy.com/access-to-energy-data/