Industrial energy consumers, energy providers, smart grid operators and energy trading platforms based in the Port of Rotterdam attended the Rotterdam Port Energy Co-operative Workshop at  SmartPort in Rotterdam on 31 August.  The event addressed the coalition and its financial, social and security benefits for stakeholders. Research for this new coalition will be led by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in its Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business (ECFEB), as part of a consortium with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), independent research organisation TNO, Smart Port and Port of Rotterdam.

This first step explored scope and possible scenarios for a Rotterdam Port Energy Co-operative and explore business cases in the Port of Rotterdam, an important step as part of the strategic projects under the SmartPort roadmap for Smart Energy, and was organised by RSM’s Dr Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal and Dr Marcel van Oosterhout.

The potential of the Rotterdam Port Energy Co-operative was explained by Dr Yashar Ghiassi-Farrokhfal: “The potential growth for port industry as an energy co-operative is an exciting opportunity; it could become an important institution in future energy markets, allowing businesses to share investment and maintenance costs for renewable energy generators, energy storage and energy conversion, and to increase their bargaining power with third parties.”

The essence of the co-operative is to minimise carbon emissions and maximise stakeholder value for people, profit and planet. It can also be instrumental in attracting new companies to the port of Rotterdam that focus on new emerging energy systems. The workshop shared the project’s proposal with a broader group of stakeholders to evaluate which companies and organisations are interested to collaborate and join. In the study, the consortium will research the value, design, governance and feasibility of energy supply, demand, storage and smart interconnections for the future. Next steps are to model the energy co-operative in various scenarios and based on real-world data to:

  • simulate the effects and use serious gaming to involve business community
  • design optimized broker algorithms
  • invite the international research community to contribute
  • develop in-depth business cases.

Modelling tools for use in research by ECFEB include the use of PowerTac, a simulated trading agent competition.

Dr Michiel Jak, Business Director of Smart Port and moderator of the Rotterdam Port Energy Co-operative workshop concluded: “Energy users can co-operate by moving their energy-intensive activities to flatten the total energy use, and lower the peak demand. The focus of the study will initially be on electricity. We now need to analyse which companies have a real incentive to share data in a co-operative setting. We will take small steps to face the complexity of this challenging co-operative. I believe once we can share the huge potential benefits in terms of CO2 reduction, cost reduction or increased competitive advantage, Rotterdam will be leading the game and this will impact future generations.”

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Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

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