July 5th, 2022

Interview with the CEO Domenico Mangiacapra

Domenico Mangiacapra, CEO of Henshin Group, was interviewed by Nonsoloambiente, a prestigious online magazine entirely focused on issues related to the environment, renewable energy, waste, sustainability, smart cities and environmental communication.

 

Among the various topics discussed, our CEO explains how Henshin Group, an innovative software company belonging to the Veos Group, has developed a disruptive IoT software platform with unique features on the market, designed to be the technological infrastructure for the implementation of Smart City initiatives starting with the integration between mobility and energy systems.

 

Henshin Group, a technology company, has jointly launched MOVENS, a cutting-edge open source mobility platform for enhanced management of renewable energy communities and self-consumption groups formed by citizens, institutions and companies. What does MOVENS consist of and what are its effects?

Henshin has developed the technology needed to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to the development of Smart Cities: the current fragmentation of the global digital market caused by the lack of shared standards. MOVENS is an opensource platform - continuously evolving according to global standards - designed to be the technology hub of Smart Cities by enabling the integration of the entire urban ecosystem. MOVENS currently includes applications for mobility, energy and insurance. The platform works with any type of vehicle and any type of power supply supporting the process of electrifying transportation and helping balance the power grid. In a broader view, an electric vehicle is essentially a "storage battery on four wheels" that, thanks to a bi-directional charging (V2G) system, is capable of absorbing energy from the power grid but also returning it to the community and helping to stabilize it in the event of consumption peaks. MOVENS provides the technological tools necessary to enable better energy utilization, monitoring and optimization of energy sharing within the community to maximize savings and incentives and, at the same time, ensuring elements of flexibility typical of smart grids.

 

MOVENS is an open-source platform. What is the reason for this choice?

The choice to be opensource responds to the need to enhance and facilitate the global deployment of MOVENS. Many, in fact, are the benefits of adopting such a model rather than a so-called "captive" solution: first and foremost, the fact of gathering around it a community of independent software entities scattered around the globe. It follows that the more people who use the platform, the faster it will spread. Thus, the continuous improvement and development of the platform's functionality is carried out not only by Henshin's R&D staff, but by the global community mentioned above. In addition, sustainability from the technological point of view results in the standardization that is really achieved only and through opensource. 

 

In your opinion, is the establishment of energy communities adequately supported by institutions? What could be done to speed up their establishment process?

Currently, it is possible to establish energy communities under a transitional framework that has some strong limitations, such as the maximum size of 200 kW for photovoltaic systems in communities and the possibility of aggregating only utilities under the same secondary electrical distribution cabin (medium to low voltage). These constraints effectively limit the implementation of utility-initiated energy communities involving residential utilities or small artisans in municipal settings. The new framework, which still needs implementing decrees, including the definition of the incentive on self-consumed energy, raises the maximum size to 1 MW and allows the aggregation of utilities at the primary electrical distribution substation level (high to medium voltage). These changes, when implemented, will allow the involvement of industrial entities, and broaden the range of utilities that can be aggregated in a community. From our point of view, we need to accelerate the approval of the new framework and define incentive levels that will stimulate the interest of private capital as well. Once the implementing decrees and technical rules of the new discipline are defined, if the first initiatives are successful, this will create a virtuous circle of interest and confidence in these types of contracts and investments.

 

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