Could smart grids and peer-to-peer trading reduce the social costs of the energy transition?

24 February 2020 - Published by Sophie Rabasch

The Dutch city of Amersfoort is participating in the ACCESS project to demonstrate a local energy market and to better understand the upscaling potential of smart grids and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading.

Amersfoort, the second-largest city in the province of Utrecht, has the ambition of becoming CO2-neutral by 2030. The main focus right now is on the built environment and the transition from natural gas to other, more sustainable, sources of heat. In some neighbourhoods, this will mean all-electric solutions and a higher demand for electricity in the future. Besides this, there will be more locally produced renewable energy. These changes can have a large impact on the electricity grid and require extra investments in the grid to keep it solid and future-proof. As a municipality, Amersfoort needs the support of its citizens, companies and institutions to play their role in the energy transition. Keeping the energy transition affordable is important to get this support.

With the energy transition in mind and the new opportunities in the field of digitalisation, the municipality of Amersfoort is running a pilot to better understand and test the potential of smart grids and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) trading in keeping the energy transition affordable. The ACCESS project makes it possible to share knowledge and to develop together with the other project partners. For the local pilot in Amersfoort, the municipality is working closely with Energievan. is a consultancy firm in the area of ICT and energy management. It has experience in facilitating administrative processes that provide companies and households insight into their financial- and energy results. 

Next to testing the software and devices in Amersfoort, the project also aims to get a better understanding of the new energy playing field. Which stakeholders are involved and what are their (new) roles? And is there a business case for upscaling P2P energy trade? A sign of growing interest, Amersfoort has obtained an exemption from the Dutch energy law for this pilot, to really be able to test the new roles and models in a real-world setting.