In-depth: The smart distribution grid – how to integrate active prosumers


    The main aim of the INERTIA project is to introduce the ‘Internet of Things/Services’ principles within the distribution grid control and demand side management operations. Demand capacity and flexibility set a critical grid operation performance factor with shared profit opportunities.

    Inflexible demand, along with the increasing presence of distributed intermittent energy sources, poses significant challenges for utilities and their ability to balance the grid. Worldwide RES capacity has increased above 50% (approx. 240GW) between 2004 and 2007 while renewable power capacity worldwide reached an estimated 1 320GW in 2010.

    Moreover, if the EU 20-20-20 objectives are met, 75% of the new renewable capacity will be intermittent and hard-toforecast, causing critical challenges in grid management at all levels (distribution, transmission and cross-border). Demand response (DR) aims to exploit consumer flexibility in response to these that further set conditions while increasing consumer participation in the competitive energy market.

    Developments in DR vary substantially across Europe reflecting national conditions and triggered by different policies. The EU has expressed a high interest to this field and many research projects are being undertaken to manage business models and strategies for the optimal implementation of DR scenarios.


    INERTIA learns from the progress of the existing efforts in demand side management. The framework allows for intelligent demand aggregation and dynamic demand on much higher levels than those of individual appliances. Decentralised and automated energy performance optimisation strategies performed on a local level lead to the creation of more energy efficient prosumer hubs and clusters that actively contribute to overall grid performance.

    In addition, the proposed framework provides methods and tools for the detailed and robust analysis and modelling of individual and aggregated prosumer load profiles and respective load flexibility. This allows for implementing reliable, effective and optimally coordinated local demand side management strategies within the critical response time limits; set by grid operations, incorporating various levels of management and control as well as different semantic views and clusters.

    The INERTIA framework adopts the Internet of Things principles and ….

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