Granular Energy or “How a team of energy veterans is enabling a paradigm shift in Green Energy”
Global warming is one of the biggest threats that humankind is facing. The outlook is harsh but the good news is that we have a powerful tool in our arsenal that could meaningfully lower our carbon output: Green Energy
The plan to use green energy is fairly simple:
….unfortunately we haven’t even managed the first step yet. While we have achieved the technical means to produce, store and use green electricity, we are still struggling to decarbonize our electric grid. Why is that?
One major issue is the lack of choices when it comes to electricity procurement. Electricity consumers don’t generally have the means to choose what kind of energy they consume. To write this article for example, I have to use the current German energy mix of 44% renewables with the rest mainly produced by gas and coal.
But what about all the green electricity offerings that consumers signed up for? And how about all the corporations claiming to use 100% green energy?
All these claims are based upon a twenty year old system that allows renewable electricity producers to sell renewable energy certificates (RECs, TRCs, GOs) to energy buyers who want to have a claim on the produced energy. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations at that time, the system came with a fundamental flaw: claims of 100% renewable energy can be made by matching electricity consumption with renewable energy produced at any time within a 12-month window.
This mechanism fails thereby to reflect the ‘real world’ availability of renewable energy which fluctuates from hour-to-hour. Solar energy, of which there is plenty during the daytime, could be claimed by a night-time consumer, who is actually consuming oil and gas powered electricity. This kind of situation leads to distrust and inefficient price signals to the energy market. Fixing this issue is needed to fundamentally re-orient energy markets towards decarbonization.
A new hope: Hourly certificates
The solution to this flaw that is now being introduced appears simple: instead of having an annual settlement period, certificates will be issued and consumed on an hourly basis. Thus, for the first time, production and consumption of energy will be truly matched. Through this, a clean price signal for renewable energy will be sent to the market thereby accelerating the shift to a 24/7 carbon-free grid.
Such transparency of direct energy sources is not just important for companies who want to achieve carbon neutrality and utilities who want to introduce a real renewable energy offering but it is also important for regulators who want to incentivize renewable energy and who want to enable green hydrogen industry production.
Introducing Granular Energy
To establish and manage this massive shift, an experienced team of energy entrepreneurs came together and formed: Granular Energy
The team built a novel software platform to manage the demand and the purchase of hourly certificates. Furthermore, the company has now partnered with NordPool, the leading European power market operator, and Elexon, to launch the world’s first market for hourly energy certificates in the UK. Twelve large energy utilities are participating in this first phase of the market launch, alongside a diverse range of large organizations such as Sky and The University of Nottingham who are demonstrating their sustainability leadership by engaging in the project. Besides the UK, Granular is also launching in three new EU markets, as well as the US.
Today we are very happy to announce that we joined Granular’s mission through a 2m€ investment round together with Seedcamp (London), PowerHouse (SF), as well as leading energy founders and angels. Granular is a great example of what we are working on so hard here at Revent: supporting founders to tackle the most daring challenges through systematic change — like redirecting billions of dollars towards a 24/7 clean energy world.