The emergent energy platforms offer decentralised, digitally enabled exchanges of energy from distributed resources. They can record flows of energy to administer connections of exchange between household users, develop algorithms to steer the flow of energy from and to household batteries, and enable crowdsourced investments into (small-scale) renewable energy production. We draw up a first typology based on platforms’ physical integration into the energy infrastructure as well as users’ scope for action. To map out the possible implications of these developments, we draw on the burgeoning, interdisciplinary field of platform studies to show how logics of platformization will drive changes to the energy system. We identify the marketization of new domains and activities, the formation of new collectivities and the creation of digital environments that afford new types of engagement with energy assets and other users of the grid. Our main concern is that uncertainties produced by these platforms and their tendency to privatise energy provisioning may slow down the transition towards sustainable energy systems. We therefore call upon energy social scientists to not only examine these developments but use these insights to also participate in the responsible design of the energy grids of the future.
Vector and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are jointly developing a New Energy Platform (NEP) under a multi-year strategic alliance to change how energy is managed, delivered and consumed. This strategic alliance to jointly develop the NEP is the first of its kind for AWS in New Zealand, and for AWS in the global energy sector.
“Consumers are demanding cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable energy, and through our alliance with AWS we are taking critical steps to transform how the energy industry operates,” said Simon Mackenzie, Group CEO of Vector. “Our vision is for the NEP to transform the energy industry by using data to inform innovation and product development.”
Initially, the NEP will leverage the breadth and depth of AWS services to rapidly collect and analyse data from more than 1.6 million IoT-connected Vector advanced meters deployed across New Zealand and Australia. The insights collected by the NEP will help Vector enable energy and utility companies to develop tailored product and pricing solutions for their customers based on their energy consumption habits.