Real-time control and supervision will play a crucial role in grid management and operation on all voltage levels. Moreover the need for visionary decentralized approaches and architectures is widely recognized in the European Union, due the rapid growth of Distributed Energy Sources (DRES) across Europe.
eDREAM aims to the transfiguration of traditional market approaches and smart grid operations into novel decentralized and community-driven energy systems fully exploring local capacities, constraints and Virtual Power Plants-oriented optimization in terms of local and secure grid nodes stabilization.
eDREAM vision is for a novel near real time Closed Loop optimal blockchain based Demand Response ecosystem, where Distribution System Operators (DSO) and aggregators cooperate within a novel yet appropriate market framework, with a view to exploit to the largest possible extent the flexibility potential of a large variety of heterogeneous third party stationary and movable load assets, while keeping system reliability within prescribed limits and preserving continuity and security of supply.
eDREAM project will research, develop and validate novel technologies and tools for commercial and industrial near real time Closed Loop DR optimized flexibility management tailored to provide ancillary and balancing services to Distribution System Operators, allowing them to optimize network operations while ensuring appropriate system reliability and preserving continuity and security of supply.
The main goals of the eDREAM project will target research and innovation towards the following primary objectives:
- Develop innovative tools for demand response optimal programs design, including Demand Response forecast, profiling, segmentation and load forecasting.
- Investigate and develop scalable finer-grained technologies for enabling aggregators to optimally manage clusters of flexibility sources sharing the same physical grid (microgrid) or virtually dispersed anywhere (Virtual Power Plant).
- Investigate and develop novel blockchain applications for decentralized marketplace-driven management and control of Distribution System Operators vs third party/aggregators interaction, closed Loop near real time DR performance and secure data handling.
- Develop innovative and user-friendly Demand Response Optimization services tailored to energy customers.
- Validate the developed technology on a number of use cases and demonstration sites.
- Research and validate innovative market design and business models to support prospective commercialisation of the developed and validated eDREAM tools and technologies.
- Evolve OpenADR2.0 “de facto” smart grid standard for managing interoperability with IEC family of automation standards.
In a fast evolving and competitive global landscape, Europe needs to develop and mature the next generation of competitive technologies and services for the electricity distribution grid at medium and low voltage levels, which are clearly going beyond the state of the art and will be ready to integrate the market in five to ten years’ time.
These technologies and services should enable advanced solutions for Demand Response, smart grid, storage and energy system integration while respecting the needed stability and security in the context of an increasing share of variable renewable energy sources in the electricity grid.
The European Commission strategic framework seeks for an improved and modernized European energy market, targeting to achieve secure, sustainable, affordable and decentralized energy networks as development of the overarching challenge of the Paris Agreements regarding GHG emissions and the expected “Energy Transition” recently published as part of low carbon emissions roadmap.
The EU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 and reaching a 20% share of renewables by 2020 increasing to at least a 27% share by 2030.
The flexibility of energy demand has a fundamental role in meeting these targets. Moreover, with the introduction of the smart grid concept rigorous changes have begun to take place in the power networks.
As grids are undergoing a significant transformation in order to follow the technological changes and explore the new opportunities stemming, demand response is acknowledged as a key element of development in the future smart networks.
Demand response combines significant scientific fields such as energy efficiency, energy storage, Renewable Energy Sources and Distributed Energy Resources integration as well as Energy Management with valuable active end-users engagement in order to achieve the desired shifting of peak loads.
Demand side response (DSR) is widely recognised as a key element in the development of the future optimised, smart grid, incorporating a wide range of both centralised and distributed renewable and conventional power sources.
Despite the many advantages of Demand Response applications as well as the promising results of the successful deployment of Demand Side Response there are very few examples of the successful deployment of DSR technologies that consider Virtual Power Plants as well as decentralized approaches towards achieving a reduction in peak grid demand and real savings for final consumers.
In Europe, Demand Response programs are still in their infancy. In this new era for Demand Response in Europe, Balancing Responsible Partners (BRPs) including aggregators, utilities and retailers appear to be threatened from the side-effects of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) integration in the grid on traditional grid-related economics. Vital requirements are still missing, as fundamental technical descriptions are not being followed.
Renewable Energy Sources (RES) are significantly impacting the power infrastructure. The share of RES in the EU power generation mix grew from 13% in 1990 to about 20% in 2010, and will exceed EU 20-20-20 targets, reaching as much as 50% by 2030 with a significant contribution from variable sources.
As well, the share of electricity as a percentage of total energy consumption is expected to rise due to an increasing number of electrical appliances and an increase in the penetration of heat pumps and electric vehicles (EV). The number of EV model launches rose to 15 in 2015 and annual sales of plug-in EVs are expected to grow by 400% by 2023.
This can be problematic when local distribution networks and metering systems cannot accommodate reverse flows.
The increased share of renewables and distributed generation coincides with the shift towards electric vehicles and electric charging stations, as well as the goal of increasing the efficiency of traditional distribution network.
Moreover, the smart grid evolution of the last years indicates the need for revolutionary concepts, in particular for relevant stakeholders (aggregators, utilities), which shall revisit and think about their existing distribution balancing toolkits and mechanisms.
As consumers are deprived from the option to access the market, the energy market loses valuable opportunities that are expected to benefit not only customers (flexible prices, active engagement for affecting their builds and consumption in a more active way, decrease in CO2 levels etc.), but also the Power Grid operation (flexibility, stability, reliability, RES higher integration etc.).
The Energy Efficiency Directive of 2012 considers DR to be “an important instrument for consumption and billing and thus providing a mechanism to reduce or shift consumption, resulting in energy savings in both final consumption and, through the more optimal use of networks and generation assets, in energy generation, transmission and distribution”, while the Third Energy Package (TEP) also highly supports Demand Response applications and mechanisms.
One of the most significant contributions of Demand Response into the power network is flexibility, in particular dealing with uncertainty of Distributed Generation and Distributed Energy Resources. Accurate flexibility analysis at multiple scales (e.g. in distributed virtual power plants, active micro-grids) constitutes a necessary requirement for the power grid’s efficient operation as it allows for balancing demand and supply of electricity.
The energy market and utility world (including aggregators, retailers, ESCOs and overall Balancing Responsible Parties – BRPs) have changed drastically in the last years. Emerging and intelligent technologies such as smart meters and fully functional smart grid concept shave revealed large opportunities and made inroad into the stakeholder’s space for new services and business models delivery.
In this context, eDREAM aims to research, validate and bring into pre-commercialization phase a near-real time closed-loop Demand Response framework, fully autonomous, secure (through an enhanced blockchain ecosystem) and based on decentralized decision making functional model.
eDREAM vision is for a novel near real time Closed Loop optimal blockchain based Demand Response ecosystem, where Distribution System Operators and aggregators cooperate within a novel yet appropriate market framework, with a view to exploit to the largest possible extent the flexibility potential of a large variety of heterogeneous third party stationary and movable load assets, while keeping system reliability within prescribed limits and preserving continuity and security of supply.
The concept is in line with the recommendations recently reported by European Commission in respect to Demand Response status in several Member states, in which eDREAM foresees to play pioneer role in:
- Ensuring a smooth transition towards a novel market scheme.
- Enabling consumers/prosumers to effectively participate in community-based virtual power plants concepts, allowing from one hand aggregators to maximize the group’s joint potential as well as the possibility for direct trading of the aggregated load through new business/financial models (e.g. direct trading of the aggregated flexibility through self-enforcing smart contracts).
- Provisioning next generation consumption/production forecasting techniques through the research of scalable deep learning methods (on top of big data analysis and interactive visualization toolkits) that fully enable the provision of services related to: micro-batch analysis including stream analytics for trend analysis, and novel graph analytics toolkit to improve day-ahead and long-term planning of DR programs.
eDREAM targets the design and validation of a closed-loop DR framework (including near real-time financial verification of the service offered) that is designed to maintain the real-time balance of supply and demand in an decentralized environment, where the number of distributed and self-controlled resources comprising of multiple (Community-based) Virtual Power Plants are rapidly increasing.
Indeed, eDREAM will perform pioneer research towards a decentralized energy transaction and supply system, in which transactions are effected automatically (based on smart contracts), are recorded on a blockchain (primary focus will be the private concept of blockchain) in a tamper-proof way, and in which decisions are optimized through the provision of advanced forecasting techniques on the top of a robust, scalable and extendable (in terms of added value services) big data infrastructure.
Major impacts of eDREAM project:
- Releasing a platform of integrated tools that will boot the flexibility of energy users and the smartness of the grid by also enabling fully decentralized and secured demand response collaboration mechanisms that could supply very competitive price driven markets having energy as translatable asset.
- Developing new solutions to drive the change from traditional market approaches and smart grid operations into novel decentralized and community-driven energy systems.
- Facilitating the interconnection between the partner territories with the aim of exchanging knowledge and best practice on DR systems.
- Generating at least 10% emission savings demonstrated by using the proposed technologies and 25% cost saving and energy reduction for customers.
- Substantially increasing the awareness of end-users regarding demand response and facilitating market actors to rebase their business models by actively considering demand response and on an environmental level.
- Provide flexibility on MV/LV grids operation that can simplify and support the integration of renewables in existing power systems, avoiding and/or limiting expensive and inefficient investments on new grid infrastructures.