A systematic survey of business models for smart micro-grids under current legal and incentive conditions

Research output: Contributions to collected editions/worksArticle in conference proceedingsResearch


Key challenges of increasing shares of Renewable Energies (RE) within the electricity sector are the volatile production of wind and solar energy as well as a high share of small RE plants installed on distribution network level. One possible solution towards reducing complexity caused by distributed stakeholders as well as dual integration requirements is a cellular approach. Such (Smart) Micro-Grids (SMiGs) aim at increasing the integration of RE at the level of one cell as far as possible, although several cells are connected to a superordinated control. European and national unbundling regulations apply to SMiGs as well. They are to ensure free entry to those electricity markets which are contestable. The federal network agency (BNetzA) regulates those markets which are "monopolistic bottlenecks", i.e. the operation of the grid infrastructure. From a legal and organisational perspective, SMiGs can be seen as the sum of the market-oriented acting of several stakeholders where not all new roles are well defined legally. The objective of this paper is to present a typology of business models within the current legal environment. The development of the business model typology is divided into 3 steps: 1. We define functions of a SMiG and stakeholder groups from a technical perspective. 2. We explore the origination and distribution of value added by and to the respective participants of an SMiG. 3. We survey the current German market using the preliminary typology developed through steps 1+2. The output of this combination of an analytical/heuristic with a synthetical/empirical approach is a systematic overview and comparison of business models from a technical (step 1), business (step 2) and social (step 3) view. This forms the basis of on the one hand technical and economic simulations of operating strategies, on the other hand of analyses of the business drivers and future roles of SMiGs and/or respective participants. While some of the business models are clearly driven by regulatory changes or expected changes, i.e. a risk reduction or a profit margin strategy, some appear to be brought forward so as to strengthen innovative capabilities of the respective participant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational ETG Congress 2015 : die Energiewende; blueprints for the new energy age; proceedings; November 17 – 18, 2015, World Conference Center, Bonn
Number of pages8
PublisherVDE Verlag GmbH
Publication date2015
Article number7388542
ISBN (Print)978-3-8007-4121-2
ISBN (Electronic)9783800741212
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventInternational Power Engineering Society Congress - ETG 2015 : Die Energiewende - Bonn, Germany
Duration: 17.11.201518.11.2015