Hello smart grid! Meet our next finalist: GreenSync. They might have the longest journey to our Tech Festival – coming straight from Melbourne, Australia. Phil Blythe, CEO, explains why just building more poles and wires is not enough, how their software solution works and how it will help grids to make better decisions when it comes to integrating more renewables. And all of that of course automated. We can’t wait to have that in Europe.
Describe your product and its history! What is your unique value proposition and your business model?
Since 2010, GreenSync has developed a software planning tool for utilities which enables planners who make multi-decade, $100millions decisions to model and consider non-network solutions to demand growth. This means they can price and compare distributed generation such as solar and wind alongside building larger transmission and distribution assets to existing, centralised fossil fuel generators. This software is globally unique, and an important step in building the business case for smart-grid solutions and higher penetrations of renewables.
What is your vision in regards to the future of the energy economy? And how does your product contribute to this future?
GreenSync’s platform solution applies across the entire grid, so it impacts on all electricity users. Via its control and optimisation capabilities it also makes deploying both large and small scale renewables cheaper and easier. This means that fossil fuel generation can be priced out of the market faster and relative costs of renewables decreased. While the need for renewable energy resources is well understood, the infrastructure to integrate them into the electricity grid is less open. The platform built by GreenSync enables the fast-growing number of ‘prosumers’ to control their own energy use. This technology is vital for eventually eliminating dirty coal generation.
What are, in your opinion, the key challenges of the energy transition in general, and what are they specifically for your startup?
To address constraints in the electricity grid, network companies have previously just built more infrastructure (poles and wires). Constraints in supply have resulted in more fossil fuel generation, and problems with peak demand addressed by gas-fired peaking plants. In the past it has been argued that intermittent renewables have to be backed by a large proportion of base-load power and controllable peaking power plants. With modern technology and sophisticated software algorithms, load and generation can now be better matched at a local level. This provides the opportunity to move away from old approaches. The biggest challenge is changing the ‘business as usual’ attitude entrenched in many large organisations participating in electricity markets.
Where are you based, and who are the key innovation drivers in the energy ecosystem in your region?
GreenSync is based in Melbourne, Australia, which has one of the most competitive and sophisticated energy markets in the world. GreenSync’s platform is unique and there is strong interest in our technology outside Australia, which is why we have set up a Singapore office to start exporting to SE Asia as the first step in our international expansion. Universities such as Monash in Australia and NTU in Singapore are collaborating on our market-changing innovations.
Which results for your startup do you expect from the Tech Festival by DENA in March 2017?
GreenSync would very much like to offer its solution into the European market. We hope to make contact with energy retailers, distributors, transmitters and large energy users. Generally, once these types of organisation understand our software platform, there is strong interest in the solutions GreenSync can provide.
GreenSync is a technology company specialised in demand management and energy efficiency. Our Cloud based platforms leverage real-time analytics and smart automation to enable smart grid capabilities, from basic real-time monitoring through to automated demand response for networks and large industrial energy users.
Founded in 2010, and headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, GreenSync has since worked with some of the biggest and best in the region to deploy and improve demand side solutions for distribution networks, retailers and large energy users.