Tesla may become power provider in Germany


From pv magazine Germany.

Will German clean power providers Lichtblick, Polarstern, EWS Schönau, Greenpeace Energy and their peers soon face competition from the USA? Quite possibly.

Tesla is considering entering the German electricity market with an innovative tariff and is conducting a survey among potential customers to determine interest in its electricity offer and whether to link energy supply with its other products. With Tesla customers renowned for brand loyalty it could represent serious competition for current players in the field.

Tesla had no comment on the matter for pv magazine but we have seen the survey, which includes a question asking customers what would persuade them to switch electricity supplier. One of the responses offered concerns a supply contract linked to ownership of a PV rooftop, Tesla Powerwall home storage and Tesla software.

The Tesla home

The questionnaire also asks which Tesla products customers would consider buying, including home energy storage; solar panels; a Tesla Wall Connector electric vehicle (EV) charging point; access to a public EV charging network in addition to Tesla fast chargers; and, crucially, the supply of clean electricity.

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The option of combining Tesla products is again hinted at by a question which moots an “energy package” of panels, storage, EV charger and green electricity.

Another query on the survey asks customers what sort of electricity payment model they would prefer and includes among the options a day-ahead hourly-variable price per kilowatt-hour. The option is posed as part of a question which asks what element of EV charging control customers would be prepared to surrender to Tesla, hinting at the grid balancing benefits a Tesla vehicle-to-grid network could offer.

Grid ancillary services

The company asks: “Suppose your car is charged every morning to meet your daily needs. Under what conditions would you allow Tesla to control the charging time of your car so that it is charged for your daily needs and to offer you a cheaper electricity tariff?” Options include: “If there is a clear financial advantage for me,” “If there are other advantages such as free or cheaper charging at home or on public charging stations,” and “If it helps to increase the share of renewable energies in the energy mix.”

And it is not only Germany which has caught Tesla’s eye, it seems, with British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reporting the company applied for a power supply license from the national regulatory authority in early May, with a view to setting up automated electricity trading.

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