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EU SmartCoDe project aims at local smart grids

Posted: 14 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart grid  EU project  clean energy technology 

The first SmartCoDe Expert Cooperation Workshop organised by edacentrum e.V. and held in Vienna, Austria on Nov. 16, 2010 focused on bridging the gap between thinking globally and acting locally in developing affordable smart local energy grids. The workshop concluded that investing in R&D for clean energy technologies is vital.

The goal of the European Union (EU)-funded Project SmartCoDe is to reduce the overall energy intensity while enabling residences and small commercial premises to profit from an open European electricity market.

On the way to the EU's objective of deriving 20 per cent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, the first SmartCoDe-workshop showed that the world must de-carbonise its energy production and consumption. The workshop learnt that fundamental, game-changing transformations are needed for a shift towards more sustainable development paths.

In his keynote presentation at the workshop Prof. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, from the Vienna University of Technology and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis of the Vienna Technical University, pointed out that energy systems technologies need to mesh with emerging innovations in energy networks and end use in direction of smart integration.

"The emerging new energy systems require two complementary co-evolutions—one is technological and the other institutional. With new technologies and systems, new business models and institutional arrangements will emerge. All of these complementary and co-evolving transformations will require market, regulatory and behavioural changes," explained Prof. Nakicenovic. "The transformational change towards more sustainable futures requires enhanced research, development and deployment (public and private) efforts as well as early investments to achieve accelerated diffusion and adoption of advanced energy technologies and systems. The longer we wait to introduce these advanced technologies, the higher the required costs and emissions reduction will be as well as the 'lock-in' into the old structures."

The SmartCoDe project aims to use electronic system level (ESL) design and verification techniques to devise a System-on-Chip (SoC) or System-in-Package (SiP) design together with an operating infrastructure concept that enables energy monitoring and control at the home appliance level—at a price that consumers can afford.

"A major issue is that renewable energy supplies are unpredictable. With renewable energy contributing an increasing percentage of the total energy supply, it will become a challenge to keep the power grid both stable and cost-efficient," explained Peter Neumann, SmartCoDe overall project coordinator at edacentrum. "Smart energy management in buildings and their environments can mitigate this problem."

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