European Smart Grid Consortium (EcoGrid EU) Attracts Big Names

  • Posted on: 20 October 2011
  • By: chw staff

Sixteen of Europe’s leading smart grid solutions providers have come together to help develop a renewable energy focus smart grid. The European Union funded project called EcoGrid EU is a continuation of the EDISON (Electric Vehicles in a Distributed and Integrated Market using Sustainable Energy and Open Networks) project launched in 2009. With a mixture of old and new faces EcoGrid EU hopes to demonstrate an infrastructure with innovative smart technologies that others can follow.

In taking the project further under a new name the consortium aims to use at least 50 percent of renewable energy sources.  The consortium will expand on EDISON by going beyond just electric vehicles into the home and office. Similar to EDISON, unused energy will be stored on electric vehicle batteries, but in addition, EcoGrid EU will also optimize appliance operation.

The EcoGrid EU project will be piloted on the Danish island of Bornholm with 2,000 residents and commercial users, representing approximately every tenth house on the island. The project will demonstrate a smart energy grid that will allow smart devices to use renewable electricity based on near real-time pricing and availability. Using smart meters and a Web-based app, that runs on smartphones, tablets and PCs, consumers can schedule when to purchase electricity online and at what price.

EcoGrid EU is in support of the European Commission's 20/20/20 plan, which is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, increase renewable energy usage by 20 percent and to reduce energy consumption through improved efficiencies by 20 percent by the year 2020. Project scientists believe that by making usage and pricing data easily available, eco-conscious Danes will choose to purchase renewable energy over fossil fuels, which will result in cost savings.

Participating residents will have smart controllers installed in their homes. These will be used to automate select appliances such as dishwashers, heat pumps and electric water heaters as energy prices adjust in five-minute increments. In addition, residents will receive relevant information about their electricity production, consumption, and price points, adding a new level of awareness and participation that should lead to increased energy savings.
Selected participants will begin the testing phase towards the end of next year.

About the EcoGrid EU Consortium
The total budget for EcoGrid EU is 21 million euro of which approximately half is financed by the European Union. The international and multidisciplinary consortium was initiated by, Denmark and coordinated by SINTEF Energi AS, Norway.  Additional partners include; Ostkraft Holding AS, Denmark; Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Denmark; Siemens Aktieselskab, Denmark; IBM, Denmark; EnCT GmbH, Germany; ELIA System Operator, Belgium; Fundacion Technalia Research & Innovation, Spain; Osterreichisches Forschungs- und Prufzentrum Arsenal Ges.m.b.h, Austria; Stichting Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland, The Netherlands; TNO, The Netherlands; Eandis cvba, Belgium; Tallinna Tehnikaulikool, Estonia; EDP Distribuicao, Portugal and Landis+Gyr, Denmark.