Local energy matching between consumers and generators could unlock “billions of pounds of additional revenue” for renewables generators, according to trials of the first peer-to-peer energy marketplace.

Energy technology firm Open Utility published the findings of its testing of the Piclo trading system on Thursday 5 May. This allowed consumers and generators to buy and sell directly and ran from October to March. It was particularly successful in Cornwall, with some renewables generators able to supply virtually all their electricity to users in as little as a 17-mile radius.
Open Utility said participation was bolstered by the “unrivalled transparency” the marketplace made possible.

By providing organisations with clear information on where their electricity was coming from and the use-of-system charges they were paying at different times of the day, Open Utility was confident that users would be encouraged to shift and reduce their usage at peak times.

It argued that a minor change to the distribution network operator charging methodology would allow the platform to realise its full potential “and a future where grid usage is fairly charged”. This would mean generators and consumers, matching on a half-hourly basis, would only pay for the extent of the distribution network that they used.

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