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Zainab Calcuttawala

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“Energy eBay” To Be Operational By June

Power

A U.K.-based consortium plans to build an “Energy eBay” that should be functional by June, according to emerging reports from the tech sector.

Bilateral trading on the site, developed by a company called Electron, will begin in a few months, CEO Joanna Hubbard said. The project will be “a shared marketplace for energy assets to respond to pricing signals,” she explained.

UK Power Networks announced a flexibility program that called on “energy resources to offer their services to support the distribution network during periods of high electricity demand.”

The new energy eBay will function on a much more “granular” level, with consortium partners National Grid and Siemens prepared to allow trading to occur in smaller packages.

Electron won a $900,000 grant to develop the energy trading framework in 2017. Soon after the project began “it quickly became evident the hardest thing wasn’t the tech, but getting the industry buy-in,” Hubbard said. The platform includes larger industry player, but isn’t designed to be an exclusive club of elite sellers, leaders say.

“There’s an incentive for everyone to get this up and running in the next few years,” the CEO said.

Consumers around the world are accustomed to getting their energy through utility providers or through locally installed solar panels or energy storage systems. But times are changing, and even oil tankers have made it on real auction-based sites in the recent past.

Related: OPEC Unfazed As Rivals Boost Oil Output

The Chinese government auctioned off a nearly $12-million oil tanker on Taobao last February. A Maltese company purchased the tanker, according to the Xinhua news service. The court had attempted to sell the 327-meter-long decommissioned ship on Taobao twice before, without any luck in meeting the minimum desired reserve to trigger a sale. But the third time was a charm.

Splash reported the sale of five vessels belonging to Wenzhou Shipping on Taobao for a grand total of $22 million last year as well. The Alibaba-owned site also recently facilitated the sale of a newbuild bulker by Nantong Minde Heavy Industry for $14 million.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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