The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) energy tech startup GreenSync have launched a new renewable energy digital marketplace to transform the country's energy industry.

The Decentralised Energy Exchange (deX) will create a platform for locally produced energy to be traded between consumers, businesses, communities and network utilities.

ARENA is funding the project, which will bring together network operators United Energy and ActewAGL, energy retailer Mojo Power and another green tech start-up, RepositPower.

The resources for the project include rooftop solar panels and battery storage units that are unable to participate in energy markets and contribute towards maintaining grid reliability.

According to ARENA, coordination and trade of decentralised energy has a potential to evade ‘trade-off’ between reliability, stability and costs associated with high renewable adoption in the energy mix.

The project will allow households and businesses generating renewable energy to access incentives and reduce their demand on the grid by using technologies like battery storage during the hours of peak energy demand.

With deX, it is also estimated that investment in renewables can increase, while avoiding multi-billion dollar investments in underutilised infrastructure.

The pilot projects will receive support from reference group consisting of government and academic bodies including the ACT and Victorian Governments, the Australian National University, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), the Australian Energy Market Commission and Energy Consumers Australia; to guide public policy considerations for wider implementation.

First pilot projects are expected to start in June this year and will use networks situations in ACT and Victoria, to establish market value and simple trading with real world customers.

GreenSync founder and CEO Phil Blythe said: “Reliability of the energy system and delivering new value streams to consumers are key priorities driving deX. Homes and businesses will be able to monetise their solar and storage assets by essentially renting them to the grid when they’re most needed.

"deX will revolutionise peak electricity management and drive more effective investment in energy infrastructure.

“We have lots of small ‘power plants’ on more than 15% of the roofs in Australia. Getting all of these working together to support the grid is a powerful proposition for the widespread adoption of renewable energy technology and will fundamentally improve the reliability and reduce the intermittency of these resources in the energy mix.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said:  “Funding projects like deX is delivering ARENA’s goal of accelerating Australia’s shift to renewable energy. To smoothly transition to a renewable energy future, we need new technologies and markets. 

“deX is a software based marketplace that will for the first time allow households and businesses to trade the grid services their batteries and rooftop solar can provide with their local network operators.”

Image: GreenSync CEO Phil Blythe. Photo: Courtesy of GreenSync Pty Ltd.