Reading matter: the 'Smart Energy Showcases'

For a period of five years, some 300 companies, research institutions and municipalities have been testing the digital energy future and developing solutions to address it. The results are now available in black and white, with five thematic reports released in addition to publications on the individual showcases.

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What if we were able to take a glimpse into the energy world of tomorrow? The books and thematic reports on the five smart energy showcases – the fruit of solid scientific research – make for interesting reading. The facts they present are all based on a real-life context. They have been furnished by some 300 businesses, research institutions and municipalities which, over a period of almost five years, have been testing out ideas and solutions for the future world of energy and developing transferable blueprints. Fancy an energising journey into the future? Here are our recommendations for a good read:

The C/sells showcase presents an overview of its findings in '1.5° Csellsius – A cellular, participatory and versatile approach to implementing the energy transition'. C/sells is based on the idea of energy cells in which individual – or groups of – households and companies produce and provide energy together.

DESIGNETZ has examined how renewable energy can be integrated into the energy system while keeping grid expansion to a minimum. The final reports are worthwhile reading. Volume 1 outlines all the fields of action and challenges. Volume 2 (in German only) presents the sub-projects and the results of all the research conducted.

The enera project magazine explores how electricity grids and markets, storage, communications and consumption technologies can be combined with the help of digital innovations. A 'flex-market' has been developed expressly for this purpose.

The NEW 4.0 showcase has shown that it is technically feasible to convert the entire power supply system to renewable energy sources. It has focused, for example, on how industrial and household power consumption can be managed, how electrical and thermal storage can help in this endeavour and how electricity can be used to generate heat and synthetic gases. For all of this and more, read the project brochure.

The focus of WindNODE has been on a smart energy network that balances generation and consumption – preferably by making better use of surplus energy instead of curtailing it. The project results are presented in the 2020 Yearbook.

While the showcase publications commit specific insights from the model regions to paper, the main purpose of the thematic reports (in German only) is to provide blueprints for a wider range of applications. Five such reports are currently being prepared, exploring issues such as the 'Potential for flexibility and sector coupling' (in German only), 'Flexibility mechanisms serving the needs of the grid' (in German only), 'Digitalisation' (in German ony), 'Regulatory sandboxes' (in German only) and 'Participation and acceptance' (in German only).

A foretaste of the voluminous reports will soon be provided by focus articles to be released online every two months.