Smart Grid Pilot Projects in Germany – First Project Completed

Under the auspices of the government sponsored support programme, smart grids are currently being tested in six pilot regions in Germany. A new brochure provides an overview of the different projects and first results of on „E-Energy – IKT-basiertes Energiesystem der Zukunft“ (E-Energy – ICT-based energy systems of the future). The eTelligence project that took place in northern Germany, in the city of Cuxhaven, has been sucessfully completed in late November.

The e-energy programme started in 2008 and is scheduled to end in 2013. It focuses on the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources, which shall account for 80% of the German electricity supply by 2050 following the energy policy shift amendment of Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG; cf. Section 1 para. 2 no. 4 EEG) . New information and communication technology shall help to reach this target. Besides, the projects shall examine new ways to reduce the energy consumption and more efficient ways to use the energy ressources.

The six smart grid projects are:

  • E-DeMa: The project investigates options for an intelligent management of consumption, including real time demand data and their availability for consumers;
  • eTelligence: The project in Cuxhaven tested a complex control system for balancing intermittent wind power and integrating the electricity in the local grids and the regional market;
  • MeRegio: 1,000 electricity consumers in Freiamt in the Black Forest region and in Göppingen (also located in Baden-Württemberg) are testing smart home solutions;
  • MoMa (model city Mannheim): 200 households have been supplied with new control devices, the so-called “energy butler”, which helps consumers to manage their demand and benefit from volatile energy prices;
  • RegModHarz: The model region in the Harz mountains in Lower Saxony explores ways to pool renewable energy generated in the region, including in virtual power plants, and ways to market this energy on different markets;
  • SmartWatts: The aim of this project is an information and management system for energy systems that complies with unbundling regulation and provides market participants with real-time data on supply and demand.

The e-energy projects also deal with related topics, like efficient overall management and structure of such projects, business models, legal framework, data protection and security as well as standardisation. To this end assistance for all six projects is provided by a special research team.

The e-energy projects are sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) with EUR 40 million and by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) with EUR 20 million. Companies involved in the model projects contribute another EUR 80 million.

The eTelligence project was completed in late October. Over a period of four years intelligent consumer-supplier relationship models were tested in order to deal with the volatile input of wind and solar power to the grids as efficiently as possible. Due to real-time visualisation the 650 households participating in the project were able to reduce their electricity consumption by 13%. Two cold stores used wind power transforming it into cooling energy and thus saved 8% of their electricity costs.

Source: E-Energy brochure; press release concerning completion of eTelligence project; eTelligence homepage

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