Balancing energy supply and demand in the cloud. Developed by: Sympower

In England, there’s a problem with football and it doesn’t involve hooligans. During halftime, millions of viewers make their way to their kitchens to turn on their tea kettles.  As a result, electricity demand spikes. To keep the lights on (and the tea brewing) grid operators use the equivalent of two fossil fuel power plants to react to these surges. Football games are just one specific example of what happens every day to a power supply that experiences sudden, and overwhelming, demand.

The difficulty of balancing the supply and demand of electricity is one of the biggest obstacles to a low-carbon future. To reduce dependence on fossil fuel plants, it’s essential to balance the electricity system on the demand side—to be smart about our energy usage. That’s where Sympower comes in.

Sympower helps keep the electricity system in balance by adjusting the behavior of large numbers of electric heating, air conditioning and hot water appliances. The service, run from a cloud-based software platform, integrates seamlessly with the operation of smart heating and cooling appliances. Households and businesses using the Sympower system are unaffected by the adjustments made to their supply as the system operates in the background without causing any loss in comfort or functionality. Sympower compensates the appliance owners for their contribution to balancing and improving the electricity system.

 

By enabling grid operators to take flexible demand into account, Sympower’s platform can preclude the building of diesel-powered peaking plants and facilitate shutting down inefficient coal plants entirely. Fossil fuel plants operate more efficiently if there is more flexibility in the market, reducing CO₂ immensely.

The company’s 2020 goal: avoid five megatons of CO2 through Sympower’s platform. If this innovation or others like it penetrates 20 percent of the target market by 2027, global greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 42 million tons of CO2e annually.

 

In 2017, Sympower is focused on expanding their portfolio, offering applications for home and industrial use to maximize impact across Europe and North America.  

 

Sympower was co-founded by Simon Bushell (CEO) and Georg Rute.

Bushell worked at an energy services company on projects ranging from technical feasibility studies for energy storage and submitting tenders for power plant projects. Rute is a physicist and worked at a German utility where he gained experience in household frequency response.

The core team also includes Mikael Marisa, who heads up Sympower in Finland and has a background in building international scale business success.
Neeme Praks is the company’s lead software engineer, spearheading the development of Sympower’s technical portfolio.
Laura van Jaarsveld is project manager in the Netherlands and overall communications director.
The Sympower team is completed by a team of market researchers, a business development team, a technical team and software developers.