Energy Pool was set up by Oliver BAUD in 2009 as a smart energy manager of a complex system for energy market players. The vision behind this project was to be a key enabler of energy transition around the globe by allowing maximum people to have access to competitive and reliable low-carbon energy. After initially operating in France, Energy pool expanded to three different continents and has offices in Japan, Turkey, and Cameroun. The CEO and Founder of EnergyPool, OliverBAUD describes the fundamental principles that serve as a foundation for his organization, he says, “Our organization is particularly driven by innovation and therefore promotes creativity at all levels and in all jobs. Our organization is also very customer-centric and all collaborators are encouraged in developing a customer-centric approach and sensitivity.”
Energy Pool mainly serves two kinds of customers. One is commercial and industrial loan customers, who they help by reducing their carbon footprint or electricity bill through load optimization and offers them advice on how to customize and enhance their supply agreement. This eventually leads to effective capital management and allows them to participate in various reserves and energy markets. Apart from this, Energy Pool provides reliable and green energy reserves to transmission system operators and balance responsible parties at best prices along with high-level market design consultancy services. On top of this, it offers them customized solutions to identify, operate and monitor the capacities of demand response of the concerned utility within their portfolio.
“Our organization is particularly driven by innovation and therefore promotes creativity at all levels and in all jobs. Our organization is also very customer-centric and all collaborators are encouraged in developing a customer-centric approach and sensitivity.”
One thing that distinguishes Energy Pool from the rest is its ability to regulate the whole value chain of flexibility. It starts from identifying load flexibilities using their expertise in the industrial processes and ends by monetizing them on the market with the help of operations tools, the knowledge to advance pooling and bidding and appropriate flexibility product designs for TSO or the market, all the while sustaining the reliability of the monetized capacities at a high level. Precisely, the company aims to create and implement smart energy management solutions and facilitating energy transition, while creating maximum value to the benefit of their clients.
Oliver says; at Energy Pool, they keep their focus at mainly three functions: “The first is making the most value of load flexibility from commercial and industrial consumers and therefore reducing their electricity bill. Their flexibility may be monetized on balancing capacity or energy markets as well as on wholesale markets. For example, we recently concluded a partnership agreement with ALDEL/DAMCO, an aluminum smelter in the Netherlands, whereby we make sure ALDEL flexibility is monetized on most relevant TSO markets (spinning reserves), increasing their revenues to invest in modernized and more flexible processes. The second is developing load flexibility compatible and consistent with intermittent RES generation. For instance, we support several industrials in France to conclude relevant green PPA, whereby industrials may benefit from advantageous electricity prices if they accept modifying their load profile to cope with RES intermittency. And finally, the third is to design and operate micro-grids to make sure they can go off-grid whenever most relevant for them, such as when the price of electricity is too expansive or when the network is not reliable enough to ensure the security of supply, etc.”
Energy Pool has been trying to set into play some long-term structural changes to disrupt the energy systems that remain immune to changes. Recently, Energy Pool Japan closed an exclusive partnership agreement with TEPCO Energy Partners in Japan, whereby becoming a shareholder of TEPCO EP. Pioneer as a demand response (DR) operator in Europe- for their groundbreaking work- Energy Pool has received several recognitions worldwide such as European Business Awards (2013, 2014), Asian Utility Week, 2017 “Large scale and innovative Demand Response – TEPCO EP Energy Pool” besides being the winner of the Best DSM or Energy Efficiency Project; and other local distinctions, in particular recognizing innovative HR management.
All these successes were not long before Olivier who formerly served as the CEO of a large aluminum plant first offered load flexibility from its plants to EDF back in 2003. After its generation capacity got reduced during the heatwave. He realized the value of load flexibility for the electric system and the potential it had in terms of creating value for the industry and boosting European industrial competitiveness. From then on, Olivier started building a company that would boost industrial competitiveness, and provide the flexibility needed by the electric system to secure supply, integrate more renewables, and economically optimizes the use of generation assets. However, two challenges came his way simultaneously. He shares, “It was necessary to convince the TSO and the BRP that load flexibility was a tool that could be used by them to balance their system. They were quite reluctant to use this new balancing tool since they were comfortable in using generation capacity only. Likewise, it was difficult to convince industrial consumers that it is worth “flexibilizing” their production to optimize their electricity costs. Most industrial plants are still managed in “lean” and do not want to change their production patterns or organization. With patience and pedagogy, we managed to slowly overcome these two challenges. Favorable regulatory framework (when it exists) can considerably ease this process.”
Today, Energy Pool drives its motivation for innovation from the constant regulatory changes in Europe. Although, the multiplication of DR mechanisms there is becoming a challenge for them and their clients because now they will have to double-check the compatibility between all these products and ensure engagement of their clients under the right branch right of DR mechanisms.
Olivier particularly values the innovatory spirit of his employees in addition to their creativity. He shares, “It is interesting to note that most of former Energy Pool employees became entrepreneurs after they left the company and recognized that their experience at Energy Pool was particularly inspiring for their new journey. As a recognized strategist, my favorite quote is from Seneca: “If one does not know to which port they are sailing, no wind is favorable”.
Energy Pool realizes how important it is to keep up with the upcoming technology and has been working consistently to integrate artificial intelligence and automatize their operations. As for their upcoming ventures, Oliver says, “We are absolutely convinced that load flexibility is a fantastic tool to decarbonize the economy because it avoids the use of thermal peaking plants, and because it may avoid importations of industrial goods if local industry is becoming more competitive through DR. Easing the energy transition while preserving our economy, that’s an amazing program for an amazing journey!”