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Inter­view with Pei­der Weiss of Broad­band Net­works

We made the Change­mak­ers edi­tion of Reimag­ine Ener­gy all about explor­ing the busi­ness­es and their lead­ers who have paved the way for change in the ener­gy sec­tor. In a series of inter­views, we spoke to those who are tak­ing risks with­in tra­di­tion­al indus­tries and who are imple­ment­ing nec­es­sary change for ulti­mate good.

In this sec­ond inter­view, we speak to Pei­der Weiss of Broad­band Net­works.

The ener­gy ecosys­tem will need to be able to dis­trib­ute and trade ener­gy intel­li­gent­ly.”

Name: Pei­der Weiss

Posi­tion: Team Leader Ener­gy Man­age­ment, Switzer­land, Broad­band Net­works AG

Back­ground: Elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing focused on telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion

  • Con­sul­tant with Broad­band Net­works
  • Focused on tele­com strate­gies
  • Moved to Ener­gy Team for Kiwigrid coop­er­a­tion

Swiss cit­i­zens were first allowed to con­sume their own solar pow­er in 2014. Is flex­i­ble reg­u­la­tion still need­ed to enable net­work inno­va­tion in Switzer­land?
“Lib­er­al­iza­tion in both the ener­gy and tele­com sec­tors isn’t the same in Switzer­land as in the EU, as it is not bound to fol­low the same rules. In the tele­com sec­tor, it’s not a monop­oly, but there are only a few play­ers in a small, con­sol­i­dat­ed mar­ket with high prices com­pared to its neigh­bors with­in the EU.“

What does the wider ener­gy future look like to you?
“The ener­gy ecosys­tem will need to be able to dis­trib­ute and trade ener­gy intel­li­gent­ly. This future will require a lot of new ser­vices by the end cus­tomer and also by the grids. IoT-based ser­vices and smart meter­ing by sup­pli­ers such as Kiwigrid are the enablers for an ener­gy effi­cient soci­ety in the future uti­liz­ing intel­li­gent­ly charg­ing e-cars, flex­i­ble and secure grid oper­a­tion, demand-side man­age­ment, self-con­sump­tion opti­miza­tion and smart ener­gy prod­ucts. As a con­se­quence, pow­er will be flow­ing in many direc­tions reg­u­lar­ly instead of just one, so this will require smart grids and the ele­ments in front of meters, such as ener­gy con­sump­tion mon­i­tor­ing and oth­er intel­li­gent solu­tions.“

What stands in the way of this future?
“As you move from a lin­ear ener­gy sec­tor with the mod­el of a water­fall to a more dis­trib­uted, decen­tral­ized sys­tem, this dis­tri­b­u­tion net­work has to be over­hauled. When that changes dra­mat­i­cal­ly, the peo­ple in charge are quite reluc­tant to accept this change and let it hap­pen – for exam­ple, the phas­ing out of coal in Ger­many.“

Down­load Reimag­ine Ener­gy: The Change­mak­ers edi­tion for free to gain access to:
Reimagine Energy: the Changemakers Edition
Kiwigrid and Broad­band Net­works – Diver­si­fy­ing a cus­tomer offer­ing

In 2017, Switzer­land vot­ed to pro­hib­it new nuclear pow­er and to pro­mote renew­able ener­gy and dig­i­tal­iza­tion. Tran­si­tion­ing to a dis­trib­uted ener­gy mod­el requires a smart elec­tric­i­ty grid, so in 2018, Broad­band Net­works teamed up with Kiwigrid to design and imple­ment the BN Swiss Link.

This is an ener­gy man­age­ment solu­tion that enables Swiss util­i­ties to address dif­fer­ent ver­ti­cal mar­ket seg­ments, such as the grid own­ers, home­own­ers, and apart­ment build­ing own­ers and are­al grids, offer­ing them ser­vices such as intel­li­gent EV charg­ing solu­tions, self-con­sump­tion opti­miza­tion, demand side man­age­ment, vir­tu­al pow­er plants and meter to cash for mul­ti flu­id.

It posi­tions Broad­band Net­works as a mul­ti-indus­try play­er, involved in numer­ous pow­er­ful mar­ket forces.