New smart cities, energy storage research programs launched in Europe


Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — December 6, 2011 – The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) has launched new joint research programs on smart cities and energy storage as part of its activities to advance the move towards a low carbon Europe.

The smart cities program is aimed at developing scientific methods and concepts to support the transformation of European cities into “smart cities”. A significant increase in energy efficiency in cities and massive integration of renewables into urban infrastructure will be enabled through intelligent planning, design and operation of energy systems at urban scales. Accordingly the program is focussed on energy in cities, urban energy networks, energy efficient interactive buildings, and urban city related supply technologies. The coordinator is Dr Brigitte Bach, head of the Energy Department at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), and the program involves 60 institutes and universities from 14 countries.

The energy storage program is aimed at bringing together diverse research activities on energy storage in Europe in order to support the establishment of reliable, cost effective and competitive energy storage technologies and thus promote European leadership in this area. Sub-programs include electrochemical storage, chemical storage, thermal energy storage, mechanical storage, SMES, and energy storage techno-economics. The coordinator is Hans J. Seifert, head of the Institute for Applied Materials (IAM-AWP) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and professor in Materials Science and Engineering, and the program involves 26 institutes from 12 countries.

Other new research programs are on fuel cells and hydrogen, and advanced materials and processes for energy applications. These are in addition to the nine programs that have been launched since the EERA’s founding in June 2010 on smart grids, photovoltaics, wind energy, geothermal, carbon capture and storage, materials for nuclear, bioenergy, concentrated solar power, and ocean energy.

The key objective of the EERA is to accelerate the development of new energy technologies in support of Europe’s Strategic Energy Technology (SET) plan through the integration of research activities and resources in the joint research programs.