With over 3,500 generating plants, more than 3,400 MW of marketed production capacity and around 251 million € trading volume in 2016, e2m is an excellent medium-sized and independent electricity trading company.
Getting the energy market moving – with expertise and algorithms
Three questions for Felix Buchholz, Head of Portfolio Management at e2m
The optimum use of opportunities on the markets hinges on generation and consumption forecasts with the highest possible level of precision. Based on measuring data from the Virtual Power Plant generated every second, portfolio management constantly checks for deviations between forecasts and the actual generation or consumption in order to correct imbalances via the market or the Virtual Power Plant. This makes an important contribution to stabilising the German power system and, at the same time, it avoids losses resulting from forecast deviations.
Portfolio management aims to reconcile the signals from the markets with the generation and consumption forecasts to generate higher revenue. How do you do that?
For a useful impression for our forecasts we analyse a wealth of data by comparing them: Our calculations include live feed-in and withdrawal data from our security-certified Virtual Power Plant as well as current weather data and market signals. This requires excellent data management by high-performance IT systems. Last but not least, it also needs the entire team’s expertise in correctly interpreting data correctly. As a result, together with our customers, we create a market-oriented power plant deployment plan with fifteen-minute precision which successfully uses the fluctuations of the market. Moreover, we readjust if schedules are not met. In case of a slump in demand, we remotely reduce the output of our connected power plants and move production hours to times with a higher price level. Plants which can adjust their schedule to the price development on the spot or intraday market can automatically benefit from this.
Will renewable energies be able to operate efficiently over the coming years?
Tendering procedures and the flexibility premium are intended to bring renewables closer to the market today. Even though not all of them have established a position close to the market and can produce in line with demand as yet, those which have already established a route to the market benefit from this. Others will need more time to implement market price-based plant control or to flexibilise their plants with additional storage facilities or generators. Clever data management and the automation of the processes, e.g. through control from the Virtual Power Plant, continue to be decisive for the further development. Intelligent algorithms will then replace switching at the plants and ensure that energy is generated as needed – and well paid accordingly.
What was the last trading highlight for you?
To me, the last weekend in April was particularly outstanding: As a result of the high feed-in of wind and PV power with a concurrently low level of consumption, spot market prices were in the negative range, in part, over a longer period of time – or in other words: There was too much energy in the market. In addition, there were significant forecast deviations which led to a large number of balancing energy calls of, in part, up to one hour. Many of our controllable plants benefitted from the combination of balancing energy calls and price-controlled schedule operation – and, on that day, were able to generate additional revenue of up to 4.65 ct per kilowatt hour fed in. We were definitely pleased about this – but our customers were certainly even more so!