Energising a greener, smarter European electricity grid
An EU-funded project has developed nine innovative products to help integrate homes and businesses into a smart European electricity grid. The aim is to make green energy smarter, easier and cheaper to use at home and work - good for the pocket, the planet and Europe's energy security.
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The EU aims to develop a smart grid that can efficiently integrate renewable energy sources into Europe’s electricity network while actively adjusting supply to homes and businesses according to demand at any given time.
To advance its development, the EU-funded project WISEGRID has created nine innovative products designed to increase the smartness, stability and security of a consumer-centric energy grid in Europe.
The products include a fast charging station for electric cars, technology enabling homes to generate, store and trade their own energy, and advanced smart meters which help households and businesses to reduce both their bills and their carbon footprint.
Demonstrations of the nine solutions are under way with more than 300 families and 25 companies using WISEGRID technology at five pilot sites in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Greece.
Once WISEGRID’s technologies have been commercialised after demonstration, the project could reach more than 100 000 people, potentially saving millions of megawatt hours of energy and tonnes of CO2, according to early projections.
‘We are witnessing a paradigm shift,’ says project coordinator Antonio Marqués, Director of Technology at ETRA I+D in Spain. ‘Our energy network was originally designed for fossil-fuel based, centrally produced electricity. The energy transition process which WISEGRID technologies support aims to achieve a renewables-based, distributed generation of electricity. This will definitely be more efficient and sustainable but will require a grid capable of accommodating many nodes exchanging energy ‘bidirectionally’ and we need the technology to manage this.’
WISEGRID has developed and is currently testing:
An energy democracy
WISEGRID’s products all aim to make the energy sector more accessible to cooperatives and SMEs, so that the industry does not consist exclusively of traditional utility companies. They also want to empower individuals to become ‘prosumers’ consumers who are also able to sell any spare energy they have produced.
This is major part of the project’s strategy to push the energy sector of the future towards a more democratic model that sees both businesses and individuals enabling Europe’s transition from fossil fuels to green energy.
‘We want to support the new players,’ says Marqués. ‘The tools developed by the project will empower people to help shape a new way of producing and consuming energy.’