ITE along with four big technological centres – CARTIF, IKERLAN, AICIA and ITG – conform this Spanish technological alliance that develops solutions for net positive local energy communities.
Strengthening the technological capacity and fostering solid cooperation between the five technology centres of excellence composing the consortium to the aim of developing technological solutions that facilitate the deployment of local energy communities with positive net balance. This is the main focus of this technological consortium led by ITE and which also includes CARTIF, IKERLAN, AICIA and ITG technological centres. The results obtained by the HySGrid+ consortium will also contribute to the development of a regulatory, certification and standardisation framework to promote this new energy model in Spain.
HySGrid+ consortium is the only network of excellence for this purpose promoted within the framework of the Cervera Programme for Technology Centres promoted by the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).
ITE, which is supported by IVACE, leads the coordination and monitoring of the activities and indicators established in the strategic plan of the network. A plan that, apart from guaranteeing the training of the network of technology centres in the development of the aforementioned technological solutions, also contemplates actions aimed at increasing the participation of Spanish companies and, especially, SMEs in international projects, as well as dissemination and diffusion actions.
Positive net balance: a new stage in surplus compensation
Achieving a positive energy balance means that the energy delivered by the community should be greater than the energy supplied from outside and this should be mainly based on renewable sources.
This consideration requires local and intensive energy generation based on renewable sources, optimal management of the flexibility provided by energy resources such as storage systems (static storage or dynamic storage through the electric vehicle), as well as a more active role of the user, through demand response schemes or demand aggregation to provide flexible services.
Thermal networks or heating and cooling networks should be based on locally available, renewable and low-carbon energy sources. In this way, synergies and complementarities between thermal and electrical energy and their associated networks should also be exploited.
However, the safe and efficient combination of all these factors is not without its challenges and therefore research is still needed into new strategies and technological solutions to ensure the development of local energy communities with a positive net balance characterized by being efficient, renewables, safe and reliable.
It is also essential to develop the regulatory framework and to develop new market mechanisms that allow energy end-users, through energy communities, to play a leading role in the energy transition process. The HySGrid+ consortium of excellence will address this need.
HySGrid+ priority areas of work
In general terms, the network of excellence will investigate new strategies and technological solutions that enable the optimal planning, efficient exploitation and intelligent control of local energy communities and their resources with the goal of achieving a positive energy net balance based entirely on renewable sources.
In particular, it will address the design, development and validation of technologies that allow, among other aspects, designing local energy communities under positive energy balance assumptions, efficiently managing the community with the support of flexible resources (storage system, manageable loads, charging stations, etc.) to ensure a positive net balance, integrating the thermal and electrical grids of the community facilitating the exchange of energy flows between them and facilitating the exchange of energy between the different members of the community. The cluster will also work on the approach and study of new innovative business models that enhance the deployment of energy positive local communities based on the commercialisation of energy services.
Firm steps towards a sustainable energy transition
Local energy communities represent a key model for achieving a sustainable and fair energy transition whose deployment in the distribution networks will bring a multitude of social and environmental benefits that will not only affect the community and its members, but society as a whole, as they will favour compliance with decarbonisation objectives, improve energy efficiency and provide greater security of supply as an energy model that brings generation closer to consumption.
This new energy model seeks to promote a fairer, more efficient and collaborative use of energy. In local energy communities, members are active subjects with decisions that organise and collaborate with each other to produce, self-consumption, manage, store and sell their own energy, as well as to promote other energy services within the community, such as energy efficiency services or charging services for electric vehicles.