Battery Storage Systems

An exploratory business model research for high power battery storage applications in the Netherlands

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The expectation is that different socio-economic trends will have a significant impact on the technical, economic and institutional structures of the Dutch electricity system. As a result, different solutions, applications, technologies, etc. are popping up in the Dutch electricity sector, which support this development. Literature names several important upcoming developments of which “Battery Storage Systems” is one. Therefore, in this thesis the following main research question is answered: What is the most promising future business model for Battery Storage Systems in the Dutch electricity system? In order to answer this research question, five sub research questions are defined and divided among three core research phases. The first phase deals with an extensive literature / desk research phase. During this phase the relevant scientific knowledge related to business models is gathered, which is used to carry out a solid scientifically proven business model research. The leading business model literature used in this thesis is related to the scientific research of Osterwalder. Next, this phase deals with the current Dutch electricity system and the environmental forces, in order to determine the current and future system requirements. By taking the total system requirements into account acceptable solutions for all relevant actors involved can be achieved. Thereafter, the Battery Storage Systems (BSS) technology itself is analyzed, in which the technology, applications and alternative technologies are a major issue. At last, this phase ends with a value assessment in which the (future) system requirements, BSS applications and alternative technologies are valuated. The results of this assessment, most promising applications and relevant actors, are used as the basis for the following research phases. The second phase continues current scientific research by executing an extensive field study. During this field study, executing expert interviews was the core element to gather all the relevant data required. The required data consisted of two main elements, namely validating the data gathered during the previous phase and collecting additional data for covering all the business model issues. Validating the previous phase was required as most collected data is based on case studies carried out in different surroundings. Furthermore, the interviews were set up according and in order to cover the nine building blocks of Osterwalder’s business model framework. The interviews were hold among seventeen interviewees, with a response rate of 100%. All those interviewees had a great understanding about the specific case and shared relevant and interesting information. During the last core research phase the three most promising business models (RGO, Private and Provider) were designed and evaluated. The main difference between those business models is the usage and ownership of the BSS technology. The evaluation existed of a feasibility assessment and a comparison in order to determine the strategic fit with the current business models of the relevant actors. From this assessment it is clear that the RGO model is the most valuable future model, as it provides the most benefits for the total Dutch electricity system and actors involved. Nevertheless, this assessment also concludes that all three business models encounter different resistance when implementing in practice. The RGO model will mainly encounter resistance from the current Dutch electricity law and regulation, as storage is still unknown in those rules and guidelines. Therefore, it is highly recommended to implement storage purposes in the Dutch electricity law and regulation in agreement with all relevant actors involved, which can be a long and intensive implementation process.