SBM_IND - Smart Business Models for Industry

Smart Business Models for Industry is concerned with the development of business models that are designed to help industrial companies on the one hand and energy suppliers on the other to market their power generation plants flexibly and in line with demand. Particular attention is paid to “grid serviceability” in order to avoid expensive investments in the energy networks by avoiding grid overloads.

Overview of Targets

  • Implementation of digital technologies and services to improve grid stability through intelligent control of industrial electrical loads and storage.
  • Design and demonstration of innovative business process architectures particularly suitable for small local distribution system operators and their industrial customers.
  • Development of a pre-alpha software which, by means of an automated IT algorithm, allows industrial flexibility options to be used according to requirements.

„The network efficient use of flexibly deployable consumers will gain in importance in the future in order to react to the increased use of volatile renewables. The industry can play a central role if economically viable business models are created for them. That’s what we are working on in the Smart Business Models for Industry project.“

Thomas Kienberger
Project manager SBM_IND,
Head of Chair of Energy Network Technology,
Montanuniversität Leoben

Regional energy supply companies play a key role in the sustainable and environmentally friendly design of energy supply, as their distribution networks contain significant potential for renewable energy. Due to changes in the legal framework, regional energy suppliers face a variety of challenges. One way of meeting these challenges is to develop new innovative business models and products.

Approach and results of Smart Business Models for Industry

In the first part of the project, load flow calculations were carried out using network models of all grid-bound energy sources (electricity, gas and heat) and the flexibility options of the industrial partners such as energy storage, DSM potentials or flexible operation of industrial power plants were included in the analysis. The objective was to ensure that the business models developed are within a feasible technical framework. In the next step, a comprehensive overview of current business models and business process architectures of the participating municipal utilities and industrial partners was compiled and compared with results of other best practice examples. Based on these results, a catalogue of requirements was drawn up, which forms the basis for the development of business models.

Interdisciplinary approach to new business models

As a starting point, the corresponding business process architectures with associated databases were integrated to enable an automated IT algorithm and to act on network data in real time. Furthermore, the pre-alpha software developed in the project was to act in a network-oriented manner and use all relevant input parameters of the grid, the database of the energy supplier as well as the necessary parameters of the industrial partner regarding the use of its flexibility potential to apply industrial flexibility options in line with demand. For the development of the business models, an interdisciplinary approach was necessary to consider the large number of topics and actors as a whole:

SBM_IND in the NEFI-innovation fields

SBM_IND contributes to the NEFI-innovation fields New business models and renewable energy, storage and DSM. On the other hand, it addresses the research areas Industry to Grid and System Solutions & Infrastructure.


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Project overview