Smart energy and smart grid central to future power supply in Germany


Berlin, Germany — (METERING.COM) — April 16, 2012 – Smart energy and smart grid technologies can make a central contribution to meeting the challenges of future power supply in Germany, according to an interim review of the E-Energy initiative.

In particular, matching the use times of electric power in households and enterprises with electricity supply can contribute to integrating renewables into the distribution grids. Further, initial trials with new electronic market platforms have made promising progress.

The interim review, Smart Energy made in Germany, reviews the status of six pilot programs being conducted in different regions of Germany by syndicates of organizations. The focus of the five-year, €140 million initiative is on integrating renewable energies with the help of newly developed information and communication systems. Germany currently derives 17 percent of its energy from renewables, and has set a target to reach 35 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

The six E-Energy pilots are:

  • The E-DeMa project, which is investigating intelligent consumption management and the near time capture and provision of consumption data in the Rhine Ruhr region
  • The eTelligence project, which is testing a complex control system to balance out fluctuating wind power that intelligently integrates electricity into the grids and a regional market in the Cuxhaven region
  • The MeRegio project, in which 1,000 electricity customers from Freiamt in the Black Forest and Goppingen are testing the smart home
  • The Moma project, in which households in the city of Mannheim are trialing new control devices – so called “energy butlers” – to control smart home appliances, based principally on the current price of electricity
  • The RegModHarz project, which is mainly concerned with the joint marketing of regionally available renewable producers and flexibilities grouped into a virtual power station on different markets in the Harz region
  • The Smart Watts project, which is aimed to provide an information and control model for the energy system, providing market players with near time, actual production and consumption data, and is being tested in Aachen.

Collectively these cover several research fields, including energy efficiency, integration of renewable energies, decentralized energy generation, supply security/grid bottlenecks/grid expansion, market deregulation, storage devices, load flexibilization, IT security and data protection, ICT architecture, smart metrology and e-mobility.

Among the many interim findings are:

  • The energy savings potential is the private sector is from 5 to 10 percent, and up to 20 percent in the commercial sector
  • Clear behavioral changes are recorded in the initial phase, but sustainable changes are usually only possible with automated systems
  • ICT control of flexible generation plants (controllable inverters, current regulated use of cogeneration stations) and localized purchase of reactive power can support grid stabilization
  • The integration of decentralized, small producers will be feasible in future with ICT without endangering grid stability and with less extensive grid expansion
  • There will be at least one new market function on the energy marketplace – flexibility operators will ensure market access for small suppliers as well and bundle their energy outputs and flexibilities into marketable units for grid operation or electricity trading.

According to the review the E-Energy model regions are seen as “the avant-garde of German and international development towards the Internet of Energy.” Thanks to the lead gained through E-Energy, German enterprises can take a spearheading role worldwide. Several cooperation agreements have also been concluded between E-Energy syndicate partners and large international companies.