A growing importance of consumers is at the heart of the current market design initiative. Smart Energy Solutions in Buildings, Cities and Grids can play a key role in achieving this objective. Everyday appliances have started to be increasingly connected to the internet (“Internet of Things”) and can thus be controlled remotely. As a result, home automation solutions have started to emerge that are increasingly communicating with each other – often acting as bridge between the electricity and heat sector. At the same time, there is more and more auto-generation of electricity and heat (“self–consumption”), often combined with stationary batteries and electric vehicles. Moreover, communities of (both residential and commercial) prosumers are starting to appear, making energy transactions at local level (e.g. district/city level). For these reasons, the complexity distribution grid management as well as urban planning in general is expected to increase There is a growing need to manage variable energy flows and access the flexibility potential that will emerge at distribution grid level.
Self-consumption of renewable energy needs to be optimized by the use of best technologies for electricity, heating, and cooling. The role of demand response and of storage to maximize self-consumption has to be assessed. Moreover, the regulatory dimension of self-consumption (e.g. allocation of electricity bill components not related to electricity supply) is of key importance.
Smart home and buildings solutions require an efficient management of distributed energy supply and demand (smart thermostat, DSM,…). In this context, building energy management systems (BEMS) and Building Information Management (BIM) play a key role. For buildings, energy intelligence platforms have to be developed. These platforms have the potential to support the implementation of energy efficiency measures (e.g. insulation) by providing visibility of energy performance and identifying the most cost-effective measures.
Smart Cities and Communities require an optimization of energy uses at city/community level: power, heat, mobility. This would include synergies between smart electricity grids and smart heat/cooling networks (e.g. via Power2Gas, CHP, …) and synergies between smart electricity grids and smart charging of EVs at city level. Moreover, local energy community applications, where smart prosumers locally exchange energy, are starting to emerge and could potentially have a profound effect on energy decentralization, by supporting the emergence of local energy markets.
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