NEWS

Climate Consensus COP21,

a new boost for Smart Grids

The so called “transformative” climate agreement reached on the 11th of December after two weeks of negotiations in Paris, is a great opportunity to boost the development of the Smart Grids towards the reduction of GHG emissions and positively influence climate change. 

195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The ambitious and balanced agreement, the first major multilateral deal of the 21st century, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

This agreement confirms that over the recent years the Smart Grid concept is only term adopted by scientists and engineers but is also becoming an important factor in the mainstream debates across energy forums as backbone infrastructure to combat climate change.

In this setting, the NOBEL GRID project can act as a critical piece in the puzzle to solve the daunting challenge of the inefficient and ever expanding and intensifying use of energy in our growing cities and growing global population. NOBEL GRID offers an integrated solution that will  regulate energy consumption of all connected to the smart grid and generate vast quantities of new data that can be optimized for developing a highly intelligent electricity grid.

The NOBEL GRID project will provide advanced tools and ICT services to all actors in the European Smart Grid and retail electricity market besides face legislative barrier in the energy renewable market.

Most notably the possibility to easily mount Cooperative Virtual Power Plants and the proliferation of open-standard and scalable Smart Meters will provide the step-change technology that will radically transform the current grid landscape towards a new paradigm. Without doubt the distributed ‘Prosumers’ shall be the protagonists of the future grid. The balance of power and benefits delivered by the grid will shift to ensure that the optimal value is delivered to those that act to optimize the efficiency and sustainability of the electricity grid  – consequently resulting in drastic cuts in GHG emissions.

Nevertheless, what has been promised by 195 countries must to be delivered to make possible the future we all want.

3rd NOBEL GRID general meeting: Presenting the second generation smart meters in Italy

From 16 to 18th of November the 21 partners involved in the NOBEL GRID project gathered in Terni (Italy) to celebrate the 3rd General Meeting and present the second generation smart meters in this event, a critical enabler of the  optimized smart electricity grid. In this occasion, one of the partners, ASM Terni Spa, guided the rest of the Consortium through the pilot site and communicated the developments and results of their deployed ICT services and hardware. This was a physical demonstration of the transformative processes of the current distribution grid through the integration of Smart devices, including the second generation Smart meters.

During the 3 day conference, partners discussed challenges, exchanged knowledge and planned future activities. . The multidisciplinary and transnational nature of this project enhances cooperation from the different partners resulting in solving different markets needs while reinforcing their commitment to make the smart grid project a reality.

The NOBEL GRID project  was welcomed and promoted by the regional and local municipalities and communicated in newspapersThe cultural adviser Giorgio Armallei received the Consortium and the local journalists in the Municipal Council of Terni and emphasized on the potential improvement to citizen’s lives thanks to the NOBEL GRID initiative. Armallei also highlighted the multiplier effect for Terni in terms of employment, entrepreneurship and ICT development.

Great success of NOBEL GRID exhibition in the ICT 2015 Lisbon

NOBEL GRID project was warmly received at ICT 2015 (Innovate, Connect, Transform) in Lisbon,the EU’s biggest digital research event. It was a superb opportunity to know more about the role of the project in delivering ICT solutions for further developing the  Smart Grids.

“The exhibition of the Nobel Grid in the ICT 2015 event has given us the chance to know more about Nobel Grid’s role within Smart Grids and the influence it has in retail electric market, as well as the synergies it offers institutions and initiatives in the same field”, stated Lola Alacreu, coordinator of Nobel Grid project from Etra.

From 20 to 22 of October the Nobel Grid’s stand at ICT 2015 event received the attention of many experts, researchers, established companies as well as startups. Visits were also received from representatives of European Institutions and Public Entities from all round Europe and overseas. Anne Deltour (Smart Cities and Communities coordinator of the European Commission), Mercè Griera i Fisa (Head of Research and Innovation), both from the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology (DG Connect). Bartolomé Nofuentes López, congressman of European Projects at the City Council of Valencia was also amongst institutional visitors, considering that Etra, the leader of the project, is a Valencian company..

In this way, “the event facilitated an active participation of many interested parties in the project, allowing them to explore new opportunities in the ICT  industry where Nobel Grid could play a major function”, added Lola Alacreu.

Juan Manuel Revuelta, Director of Finnova Foundation, a partner of the Nobel Grid’s consortium, emphasised that this event “helps to consolidate the role of Nobel Grid as a track project in the field of Smart Grids, which delivers new services and ICT based solutions for prosumers to trade home energy, and opportunity to develop many new ICT applications meanwhile generating intelligence through valuable data, among several other benefits”.

As visitor could discover at the ICT 2015 event, Nobel Grid is an ambitious European project that strives to be a protagonist in the innovative space of Smart Grids through the creation of the most competitive, reliable and non-proprietary (open access) Smart Meter, together with the development of ICT based services for all key actors in the electricity grid,  delivering solutions and tools that provide higher levels of reliability, efficiency and stability which will be tested in 5 pilot sites under real conditions and diverse scenarios in 5 different countries across Europe. All in all to ensure benefits from cheaper prices, secure and stable grids and clean electricity.

Moreover, this gathering of over 4500 ICT enthusiasts from all horizons (research, politics, industry, start-ups, investors, and academia) was the ideal stage to launch the new video for theNobel Grid project. The video besides explaining the project, raises awareness of the wider importance smart grids in delivering efficiency, tackling environmental challenges and empowering citizens. 

NOBEL GRID’s new video!

The ICT 2015 event proved to be the right stage to launch the new NOBEL GRID project video. The media was developed by Finnova, partner of the consortium in charge of international communication and dissemination amongst other activities. 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6r2IPFlbYc

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MEETING CARBON CO-OP

 CARBON CO-OP (UK), one of the members of the consortium take centre stage in this edition of the newsletter. The cooperative  believes that the process of improving homes to 2050 standards will be quicker, easier and cheaper if people work together, teaming up with friends and neighbours to share experience, knowledge and reduce costs through bulk purchase. 

This organisation, established in 2008 and incorporated in 2011 is owned and run by the householders who make up its members.They are a non-profit organisation who receive all their funding from their members. All benefits and resources are reinvested back into the member community. 

Anyone interested in upgrading their home to 2050 standards can join Carbon Co-op as a member. The members of Carbon Co-op receive specialist help and advice on reducing their household energy usage and become part of a community made up of likeminded and supportive people or organisations.

 - What’s your rolein the Nobel Grid Project? Essentially, our co-operative is made up of householders who want to make significant savings in their home carbon emissions - through energy efficient retrofit measures and the adoption of new low carbon 

technologies. Our membership is relatively small in comparison to the other test sites  but they are highly motivated, early adopters - people interested in trying out new ideas and new solutions. As well as being a test site, we are playing an active role in 
developing new business models for energy system actors, in particular aggregators and ESCOs. Finally, as we have a long standing involvement in open source  development, including projects such as OpenEnergyMonitor, we've become 
involved in some of the technical development on the project ie the SMX  etc.

-How the project contribute to improving homes to 2050 standards? In a number of ways.Many of our householders have already reduced their energy usage by  anything up to 80% against the average home. This project will enable them to go further, shifting energy usage to different times of the day or maximising generation through solar PV panels and storage. It will enable them to integrate different low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and storage devices. There's also a huge interest in our membership in using energy at times when the carbon intensity of grid energy is lower. Householders  currently receive no direct benefit from this - but they are encouraging the use of renewable energy generation within the national energy grid which benefits everyone.

- What do you think are the main challenges that the project has to face? A big challenge is the fact that the smart meter roll out in the UK is still in its early stages. The target is for most meters to be deployed by 2020, but, in contrast to the rest of the EU, retailers are  responsible for the roll out in the UK which is leading to an inefficient and chaotic roll out. As a result there is much uncertainty around the future for smart grids in the UK. Another challenge lies in the fact that in the UK, electricity forms a relatively minor element of overall energy use. Most energy use in the UK is for heating the home and hot water - something that will not change for a few decades as more elements of the heating system are  electrified. As a result we need to be inventive in how we pilot the technology from the project - there's no point shifting the energy usage of LEDs if the impact is limited to a couple pence.Finally, there is so much innovation in this sector that we need to ensure that the results of the project are as useful and inter-operable as possible. This is why we favour openly published open source technologies as they can be utilised by other organisations and help to create new, universally used platforms and standards.

-Tell us other projects in which Carbon Coop is involved concerning Smart Grid or "Smart Energy”? We have a project called 'My Home Energy Planner', this is an open source web tool that enables householders to assess current home energy 
performance and create a plan to reduce this usage to 2050 standards.We are also working closely with OpenEnergyMonitor to pilot new monitoring and metering technologies.

 

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FOLLOWING THE TRACK OF NOBEL GRID

Commissioner Bulc visited Nobel Grid stand at the Metropolitan Solutions in Berlin

Spain:

NOBEL GRID presented throughout Spain

In the meanwhile several forums and events related with Smart Grids have taken place in the Spanish territory. Nobel Grid used those opportunities to present its goals and benefits in the electric market and consumers.

Innova Malaga Forum, Innova Santander Forum, The Consumer in SmartGrid Conference in Valencia and presentation at the Economist College of Madrid are some of the events where the project was presented by both Finnova and ETRA.

The events provided the opportunity to share the spirit of the project and build strategic alliances with other stakeholders in Spain.

Brussels:

NOBEL GRID participates in the “Cities & Regions Addressing the Energy Challenge”

NOBEL GRID Project was presented on the 14th of October in Brussels during the event “Cities and Regions Addressing the Energy Challenge”, organized by the Climate KIC , on how European cities and regions are facing this issue. During this roundtable, chaired by the European, Regional and Innovation 

Network (ERRIN), experts intervened to show the paths they are taking in the transition towards a low carbon society in some European cities.

Juan Manuel Revuelta from Finnova Foundation, partner of the consortium, exposed the regional implications and perspectives of the Nobel Grid linking with the steps taken by many European cities towards reducing their demand of energy.

In this sense, representatives of Climate KIC’s Transitions Hub and European institutions outlined the most general actions arising from the energy challenge in cities and how these transition paths can be adopted more widely.

The city of Valencia was presented as an example of energy transition to a low carbon society in the hands of Jordi Peris Blanes, Councillor Renewable Energy and Climate Change of Valencia, who exposed the process of mitigation and adaptation in which the city works with the support of the Foundation InnDEA.

Helsinki and Birmingham were also two case studies in reference to the energy transition in the transport and energy efficiency in housing, respectively.

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NEXT EVENTS

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement Nº 646184.

 

 

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