The new normal


The last day of the Swiss-US Energy Innovation Days 2016 in San Francisco was all about the prosumption future, connecting the dots between the prosuming entities (personal, buildings, business, community) and the enabling technologies (production, grid, storage, shared mobility).

The interactive workshop was excellently led by Chris Luebkeman, Global Director at Arup Foresight + Research + Innovation, and resulted in a veritable fusion of brilliant ideas and concepts. The following, non conclusive list shall give a glimpse on the prosumption visions for 2030 that have been worked out by the different groups:

  1. Nexus Community and Grid: The utility grid will become a sharing platform, allowing communities to participate in a peer-to-peer market.
  2. Nexus Community and Shared Moility: Fully integrated public-private transport system optimized by smart data analytics.
  3. Nexus Community and Production: Peer-to-peer solutions like block chain will allow for smart decentralized production, democratizing energy by sharing locally produced power between people. Utilities will likely have a fundamentally different role, offering services for backup and storage solutions to the communities.
  4. Nexus Building and Production: All new buildings will be net zero or net positive as a result of DERs, effecive energy management and smart building material.
  5. Nexus Community and Storage: E-vehicles, power to gas solutions and biomass will be key components for storage on community level.

The workshop outcome demonstrated that the new normal in the energy landscape of 2030 will likely be fundamentally different to what it is today. As Chris said in his introduction: Everything inconvenient will change. It is not the strongest nor the most intelligent solution, but the solution that is the most adaptable to change, that will survive.

Simon Büschi, Diplomatic Advisor Swiss Federal Office of Energy