This project has received funding in the framework of the joint programming initiative ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus. The initiative has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 646039.

Successful first year for E-REGIO:

Great project collaboration and progress

The goal of the E-REGIO project is to show how local energy will be part of the solution towards a more sustainable energy system. So far, so good.

By Mari Kristine Buckholm, Smart Innovation Norway

“Smart Innovation Norway has developed local energy market structures in previous projects, like the EU Horizon 2020 project EMPOWER. In the E-REGIO project we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with two other partners working around the same subject, KIC InnoEnergy from Sweden and TU/e from the Netherlands”, says Heidi Tuiskula, Research & Innovation Coordinator at Smart Innovation Norway, the company which coordinates E-REGIO.

Creating a common vision

“Together, we are able to further develop the local energy market notion to enable easier implementation and flexibility for adaptation for different locations”, Tuiskula emphasizes.

During the first year of the project, the partners have combined their knowledge to create a common vision of local markets and related business models.

“We have also planned the pilots and started preparations for pilot implementations”, notes Tuiskula.

The real Local Energy Markets, enabling actors to exchange local and renewable electricity in a neighborhood, will be implemented in Norway and Sweden to demonstrate the feasibility and business potential of the concept in different settings (regulatory, infrastructure etc).

 

Real-world results

“Our expectation for the project is to test the designs and business model alternatives in a real-world environment, and then collect users' feedback and data to refine the results. In addition, since there are some commercial potentials expected from the project, the impact of the project could be brought to the customers with a good ‘go-to-market strategy’ in the near future”, explains Xue Wang, business developer at InnoEnergy.

 

The company is responsible for E-REGIO's Swedish pilot, which is set up for implementing the use cases defined in the E-REGIO smart community development process.

 

“We also contribute significantly to the business model development, and the synergies between business model alternatives and local market design. Meanwhile, InnoEnergy shares its community and partnership connections for E-REGIO, to facilitate the project development and pilot demonstration”, Wang adds.

 

Diverse and motivated partners

She points out that the E-REGIO objective of developing guidelines for implementing local energy markets in the European context aligns perfectly with InnoEnergy's vision.

“At the same time, E-REGIO offers an opportunity for us to collaborate with many leading players in this sector, which creates a platform for partnership development and knowledge sharing across different countries”, says Wang.

 

She is certain that the diversity among the partners involved in the project is highly valuable.

“It has contributed lots of knowledge transfer and great insights from different perspectives. The collaboration is managed under a well-structured scheme, and the partners support each task force with high efficiency. The E-REGIO partners are motivated and have been working on the deliverables in a collaborative way”, ensures Wang.

Since the project’s kick-off in May, the following goals have been reached:

  • State-of-the-art/comparative analysis of different market designs

  • Specification of a new market design (version 1), including a definition of the LSO (Local System Operator) role.

  • Development of new, tentative business models for various stakeholders

  • Infrastructure specification for the pilots
     

The work with implementing the first version of the IT platform for the new market concept has been started and is expected to be finished early in 2018.