Being a Senior Energy Trader
'What appeals to me is the variation during and between shifts'
You’ve probably never heard of the power markets. You likely didn’t know that energy is traded on an exchange. No matter. If you’re interested and you have what it takes, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about making the market your playground.
Dies Baveco is a senior trader who has been working at Northpool for five years now. Like most people, he was unaware of the profession of energy trading and the complex world behind flipping the light switch. A visit to the office sparked his interest and resulted in a job after his studies in Energy Sciences. “I don’t think there is any place where you can come as close to energy as at Northpool.”
Variation during and between shifts
When Dies started at Northpool, the company was trading German and French power. Currently, Northpool trades in most of Western Europe. “What appeals to me is the variation during and between shifts”, says Dies. “All countries have their own energy mix, their own specific fundamentals that drive the power supply and demand, and their own internal power market design. This versatility already leads to a wide range of scenarios that can occur within a country during a trading day. However, as Western Europe has one power market wherein power is exchanged between countries, the number of scenarios that can occur during a day is almost infinite. Everyday there are new puzzles to solve and new opportunities.”
For Dies, his job is almost like playing a strategy board game. “Northpool trades – within and across borders – to transfer power from where it is least needed to where it is most needed. To do so, we continuously have to determine where power is needed most and how to get it there. As we are not the only players in the game, we have to be the first and beat the others. This almost sounds like your Saturday evening board game and also makes it a bit addictive.”
But that is not everything. “What I also like about short term power trading is that you are operating in the center of the energy transition”, says Dies. “In the power system, supply and demand must be balanced at all times. As Europe switches to the consumption of more and more renewable power, new challenges arise. The more countries rely on wind and solar to power their grids, the more dependent the power supply becomes on the weather.
Weather forecast are merely predictions, which become more accurate when you get closer to power delivery. The more renewables, the more uncertainty, the more important close to delivery trading. I would make the statement that the short-term power market is where you can most closely see the power systems really ‘transitioning’.”