The internet of energy has arrived, Scottish start-up claims

(EurActiv, 14 Jun 2019) Faraday Grid, a clean tech start-up based in the UK, has launched a global marketing offensive for its latest transformer, saying it could do for electricity networks what the router did for the telecoms sector in the 1990s.

With the advent of digitalisation, the electricity industry has been abuzz with speculation about an “Uber moment” that will revolutionise the sector.

Faraday Grid claim they have what they’ve all been waiting – or dreading – for years.

“We’ve invented the router of the electricity system,” said Matthew Williams, one of the co-founders of the Scottish start-up.

“I like to compare it to the internet,” he told EURACTIV in an interview, saying he sees Faraday Grid as “a platform company” rather than a tech firm trying to sell a new device to prospective clients.

Power networks were originally designed to carry vast amounts of electricity from large power plants to the end consumer. But with growing shares of variable electricity coming from a multitude of smaller-scale wind and solar plants, power networks are coming under unprecedented strain.

In Germany alone, the cost of congestion hit a record €1.4 billion in 2017, mainly to deal with overloaded transmission networks and to prevent structural damage to the grid. And the problem is only going to get worse as more than half of Europe’s electricity is expected to come from renewables by 2030.

While researchers have been looking for ways of adapting the electricity system, none so far have come up with a straightforward solution like Faraday Grid claims to have done.

“We can enable 80% renewables. And that’s huge,” Williams says.

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EurActiv, 14 Jun 2019: The internet of energy has arrived, Scottish start-up claims