Confessions of an Energy Trader

This blog is written by the FLEXPOWER collective. We are traders and engineers sharing our perspectives on the energy market. While we may show you some neat analysis and correct grammar here and there, we will treat this mainly as a quick&dirty view of the facts as we see them. We have no claim to final truths but want to throw you some interesting facts and opinions to start a discussion. Feel free to engage and be controversial. However, please: keep calm and civil. It's only words.

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About the confessor

This blog post is the third in a series of articles about hedging price volatility using standard shapes such as wind and PV, as well as more novel and somewhat non-standard ones, such as the FlexHL (Battery). While the first two articles were explainers for consumers, this one is for suppliers who are looking to sell their flexibility, i.e. BESS owners.

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A Tale of Merchants, by Amani Joas

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In this subsequent blog, we extend our discussion from part I and look at how to use Flex HL (battery) shapes to hedge against price volatility.

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The FlexIndex measures on a daily basis the revenues that operators of flexible assets can achieve in Germany’s short-term spot market. The index is based on a reference battery with a storage capacity of one megawatt-hour and a power of one megawatt.

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In recent years, if you’re involved in the power sector, you’ve likely come across discussions about Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Some consider them a cure-all for advancing the energy transition, and we, too, recognize their crucial role. However, it’s essential to grasp that a PPA is essentially a contract for buying or selling power, without specifying the type.

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Over the last year we became increasingly involved with the “science” of modelling past and future revenues of battery energy storage systems (BESS) and now decided to shed some light on this practice. We believe that customers are being sold a lot of voodoo for science and that the incentives in this industry are not at all well aligned.

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Next-generation energy provider trawa and Hamburg-based electricity trader FlexPower have entered into a long-term partnership. This collaboration allows businesses of all sizes to source renewable energy easily and cost-effectively. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), trawa develops an optimized power procurement strategy based on historical consumption and current market data, aiming to reduce emissions and costs. As a market partner, FlexPower provides the necessary market access through its own electricity trading and a platform for Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with renewable energy facilities to implement the optimized power procurement.

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In recent years, if you’re involved in the power sector, you’ve likely come across discussions about Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Some consider them a cure-all for advancing the energy transition, and we, too, recognize their crucial role. However, it’s essential to grasp that a PPA is essentially a contract for buying or selling power, without specifying the type.

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The question of proactive balancing group management to support the electricity system has been a hotly debated topic in German electricity trading for years. Should balancing responsible parties – as in many other European countries – also be allowed to support the system in Germany through deliberate imbalances in their portfolios or not? FlexPower discusses the results of a new study on this topic with the author, Prof. Dr. Lion Hirth from NEON Neue Energieökonomik.

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We are often asked how the financial optimization (or: arbitrage) of a battery across the different market places of the spot market works. We show this x-market optimization here by way of example focusing on the day-ahead spot market (hourly auction at 12 noon), intraday quarter-hourly auction (at 3 p.m.) and the so-called intraday continuous market (quarter-hourly products up to five minutes before delivery).

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17 German power traders for renewable energies, who place well over 45 gigawatts of solar and wind power on the power exchanges every day, fear negative effects on the market integration of renewable energies due to the current legislative proposal for the new German Energy Industry Act.

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Shutting off green and cheap renewable energy is a counterintuitive practice that has been widely discussed and usually criticized in the past. We will use this blog to shed light on the business logic of economic renewable curtailment in order to structure the logic behind a debate that has been the cause of torn out hairs in many companies including our own.

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After an extensive test phase, Hamburg-based power trader FLEXPOWER has launched a self-developed platform for the conclusion of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). On PowerMatch, power consumers and power producers can now view prices for the purchase or sale of renewable energy power live and in a transparent way.

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The enwex index presents 24 values per day for solar and wind based on the projected utilization of both technologies, thus providing a reliable basis for the daily calculation of market values for solar and wind power for the first time.

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With ChatGPT making waves the discussion around machines taking over short-term power trading has once again gained momentum. This article presents our view on the future of machine driven power trading and decision making.

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Shutting off green and cheap renewable energy is a counterintuitive practice that has been widely discussed and usually criticized in the past. We will use this blog to shed light on the business logic of economic renewable curtailment in order to structure the logic behind a debate that has been the cause of torn out hairs in many companies including our own.

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CF Flex Power GmbH (“FLEXPOWER”) is a new trader entering the European electricity market. The Hamburg-based power trader focuses on the market integration of renewable energies and the potential of stationary battery storage to provide flexibility for the electricity market.

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The German government plans to introduce a price cap (essentially a tax) for energy producers. This will likely lead to the curtailment of valuable green energy production at times of positive prices (worst case). Best case it will introduce a minimum price floor in markets exactly at the level of the marginal tax rate.

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Direct Marketing Contracts in Germany are traditionally settled against so-called Reference Market Values. We believe that this is an outdated approach which increases uncertainty and thereby lowers the income of Renewable producers.

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The pending price caps for renewable assets is a reasonable idea, however, it creates extreme uncertainty and paralyzes the market. If executed badly, it could bankrupt hedged renewable asset owners.

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The decarbonization of energy is the largest industrial endeavor of our time. Energy supplies are changing from large, centralized and dispatchable plants to small, decentralized and weather-dependent renewables: mostly wind and solar.

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About the author

Master of Camouflage

This blog is written by the FLEXPOWER collective. We are power traders and developers who share our perspectives on the energy market. While we may show you some decent analysis and proper grammar here and there, we treat this blog mainly as a rough&dirty view of the facts as we see them. We have no claim to definitive truths, but would like to throw some interesting facts and opinions at you to start a discussion. Please join in and be controversial. But: stay calm and civilized. These are just words.

About the confessor

Masters of camouflage

This Blog is written by the FLEXPOWER collective. We are traders and engineers sharing our perspectives on the energy market. While we may show you some neat analysis and correct grammar here and there, we will treat this mainly as a quick&dirty view of the facts as we see them. We have no claim to final truths but want to throw you some interesting facts and opinions to start a discussion. Feel free to engage and be controversial. However, please: keep calm and civil. It's only words.