Energy Market from an IoT perspective - with Thomas Weisshaupt, Regional Head at Wirepas.


Modern Energy domain joins adaptive mesh networks, blockchain, and smart devices.

We cover several interesting topics during this conversation with Thomas Weisshaupt, Regional Head Energy Market at Wirepas.

Thomas explained why focusing on the core competency is crucial as the IoT vendor participating in the intelligent solutions ecosystem.

We elaborated on the importance of a business application and suitable technical stack.

My guest clarified why decentralized solutions make the energy system more efficient, less expensive, and less vulnerable.

That is just a small subset of topics covered in this episode.


Meeting Notes

Thomas’s Track Record

  • Thomas has been involved in the energy domain for over 20 years.
  • Focused on providing services to the end customers.
  • He pioneered integrating meter value into consumer information systems, which led to the early stages of what is now known as IoT (Internet of Things).

Evolution of the Energy Market

  • In 2008, the US initiated smart metering rollouts to address increasing energy demand and vulnerable networks.
  • In Europe, the focus was on consumer benefits and liberalization, while in the US, it was about infrastructure utilization and efficiency.
  • Different motivations for smart metering in Europe, including addressing non-technical losses and integrating renewable assets into the grid.
  • Rollout in Germany and Eastern Europe faced inertia due to unclear business cases.

Challenges and Solutions

  • Thomas was involved in developing the go-to-market strategy for the energy segment at Gemalto, focusing on security in IoT and smart metering domains.
  • Emphasized the vulnerability of centralized systems and the need for decentralized communication in the energy grid.
  • Highlighted the importance of flexible tariffs, consumer cost control, and the integration of renewable assets in the grid.
  • Recognized the need for decentralized communication to enable these changes, emphasizing the significance of communication and security in IoT and smart metering.

Innovations in Smart Metering

  • Wirepass developed a smart metering technology that forms a network without the need for an additional network provider.
  • Significantly reduces the total cost of ownership for utilities and requires lower maintenance and installation efforts compared to traditional smart metering projects.
  • Smart meters form ecosystems using mesh networks, offering various business benefits for vendors, end-users, and operators.

Value of Smart Meters

  • The value of IoT is not the device itself but the data it generates.
  • Benefits include lower network and energy supply costs, accurate billing, and reduced energy theft.
  • Smart meters lead to a more equitable distribution of energy costs and more accurate billing.
  • Flexible tariffs based on consumer behavior.
  • Smart meters enable lower costs, increased control over energy use, and new business models.

Privacy and Smart Meters

  • Anonymized data and encryption protect user privacy while enabling grid operators to benefit from the data.
  • Privacy considerations involve technology, processes, and people within the companies handling the data.
  • Data ownership is designed into smart metering systems.

Wirepass Technology Development

  • Initiative started in 2000 at Tampere University.
  • Research cluster focused on maximizing sensor and radio node efficiency within a dedicated spectrum.
  • Development of adaptive mesh networks to minimize power consumption.

Ecosystem Creation and Collaboration

  • Successful collaboration with around 100 companies in tracking, smart building lighting, and condition monitoring.
  • Teamed up with DECT Community Tech.
  • Contributed to the development of a standard radio interface technology.

Contribution to Standard Radio Interface Technology

  • Recognized as a 5G equivalent in terms of reliability and efficiency.
  • Own spectrum for mesh topology across Europe.
  • Meters adjust output power based on neighboring meters and spectrum regulations.

Mesh Network Generation 2.0

  • Mesh network generation 1 requires creating network tables and takes a long time to restore after an outage.

Advice For Founders

To increase usage and consumer base:

  • Focus on what you do best, make it easy to use, and educate others.
  • Encourage developers to build on top of your solution for broader adoption.
  • Importance of a plug-and-play experience for customers.

Blockchain and Energy Transfer

  • Energy Web Foundation’s role in avoiding centralized CO2 certificate markets.
  • Importance of real-world data and moving away from subsidies to markets.
  • The potential of monetizing the value of CO2 certificates through blockchain technology.
  • Blockchain ensures the authenticity of data bound directly to assets
  • Eliminates middlemen like aggregators and enables direct money flow.

Democratization of Society

  • Vision for a democratized society where anyone can buy energy assets.
  • Enables participation in revenue streams of the energy market.
  • Encourages decentralized technologies for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Prediction for Smart Energy Market

  • Belief in the decentralized nature of the energy grid and citizen participation in revenue streams.
  • Expect a bumpy road in the next 15-20 years due to conflicts with existing systems.
  • Sees decentralized nature as the key to keeping democracy alive.

Let me know what the most valuable takeaway for you!

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