Start-up Granular has raised £1.7 million (€2 million) through its most recent funding round, with venture capitals Seedcamp, Revent and Powerhouse Ventures backing the company.
Currently when customers choose a renewable energy tariff, it is backed by a 20-year old certificate system which matches electricity consumption with renewable energy generated at any time within a year.
This fails to reflect the ‘real world’ availability of renewable energy, according to Granular, leading to distrust and inefficient price signals. For example, solar energy can be claimed against consumption during night-time.
As such, the company has developed a Software as a Service (SaaS) tool that allows time-stamped, hourly energy certificates to be traded and managed, allowing consumers to verify where and when their energy is coming from renewable sources.
“Granular’s solution is a paradigm change for the energy market,” said Henrik Grosse Hokamp, partner at Revent.
“It will be finally possible for utilities, corporates, and consumers to buy true 100% carbon-free electricity. This is a crucial step and a missing piece to move our society away from carbon emitting energy production and towards addressing climate change in a meaningful way.”
Together with European power market NordPool, Elexon, Energy Systems Catapult and Unicorn, Granular launched a trial of the SaaS in April, tracking and certifying renewable generation across the UK hourly.
The market for traditional clean energy certificates is worth £9.9 billion ($12 billion) currently, and is expected to grow to £83 billion ($100 billion) by 2030 as the rollout of renewable energy picks up pace globally.
Mass-electrification will see the £3.3 trillion ($4 trillion) global electricity sector responsible for over 70% of carbon emission reductions. As such, how consumers choose their electricity and how that relates to real-world generation will come under increasing scrutiny, noted Granular.
“By establishing a market for hourly energy certificates, Granular is helping to accelerate the shift to a carbon-free grid by harnessing consumer demand to send a razor-sharp price signal that values clean energy according to ‘real-world’ availability,” Toby Ferenczi, Granular Energy co-founder and CEO said.
“Ultimately, we think that all units of energy could be tagged and traded in this way, bringing a radical new level of transparency to energy markets.”
The company will use the funds raised to roll-out its platform in the UK, as well as launch in three new EU markets and the US.