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Accelerating research in smart electricity grids

Part of Today in the Lab - Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.


What is the aim of this project?

Intelligent power networks, or smart grids, are urgently required to integrate the growing number of distributed energy sources and generators into the energy system. The aim of the ERIGrid and ERIGrid 2.0 project is to bring together, integrate and open up key national and regional research infrastructure to all European researchers, from both academia and industry, to ensure the optimal use and joint development of smart grids.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student?

A sustainable energy supply requires the integration of renewable energy resources. Such integration can be accomplished using concepts and technologies that turn the existing power system into an intelligent entity, a smart grid. To create such a system, it will be necessary to transform current electricity grids by rapidly deploying new technologies that need extensive testing and validation. ERIGrid and ERIGrid 2.0 address the challenge of effectively testing and validating new technologies and solutions by providing a single entry point to a vast amount of research infrastructure and partner laboratories, offering a broad spectrum of services to researchers active in smart grids.

What is the value of this project for society?

  • validates new power technologies quickly and efficiently
  • accelerates the achievement of smart and sustainable electricity grids
  • improves the effectiveness of research and development funds throughout Europe by increasing collaboration and sharing of smart grid research infrastructure
  • provides research infrastructure and laboratory access to researchers and engineers who would otherwise lack such access
  • trains and educates researchers and power system professionals about the latest development in smart grids and distributed energy resources.

At what stage of development is this project?

Phase 1 of the ERIGrid project began 1 November 2015 and finished on 30 April 2020.  ERIGrid 2.0 started on April 1 2020 and will run until 30 September 2024. It will not only build on the first phase but also extend the testing and validation concepts and tools, with an emphasis on research infrastructure integration and automation for long-term sustainability. The project will focus on the entire energy system, providing unparalleled opportunities for research and development in the smart energy research community.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • expanding international collaboration in research and development, including reducing barriers to exchange of experts and knowledge.

Overview of the ERIGrid approach Source: Thomas Strasser, Austrian Institute of Technology


Partners

Phase 1:

  • A consortium of 18 partners from academia, research organisations and industry; 19 first-class European laboratories, with 11 European countries represented.

Phase 2:

  • A consortium of 20 partners from research, academia and industry; the involvement of 21 first-class European laboratories and 8 virtual facilities, with 13 European countries represented.

Funder

  • European Commission Horizon 2020, Grant Agreement No. 654113 (phase 1) and Grant Agreement No. 870620 (phase 2).

About the Technology Collaboration Programme on Smart Grids (ISGAN TCP)

The ISGAN TCP is a strategic platform to support high-level government attention and action for the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world. Operating as both an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and as a TCP, the ISGAN TCP provides an important channel for communication of experience, trends, lessons learned, and visions in support of clean energy objectives, as well as new flexible and resilient solutions for smart grids.

Contact: ron.brandl@der-lab.net