Aalborg University joins EU project on smart electricity use  

The project will use intelligent electricity meters to see how a greater proportion of non-carbon renewable energy can be used in the European energy mix

Danish research scientists from Aalborg University are taking part in an EU project in which intelligent electricity meters are being used to see how a greater proportion of non-carbon renewable energy can be used in the European energy mix, writes business.dk.


The problem with wind, wave and solar power is that the output cannot be turned up and down at will to keep supply in balance with demand. And storing surplus energy is an expensive business. So the new project under the EU 7th framework programme, which is supported to the tune of DKK 33m (USD 6m), is looking at how consumers can make the timing of their energy consumption more flexible, so that it fits better with periods when there is plenty of renewable energy available.


Professor Torben Bach Pedersen at Aalborg University says that there are many ways in which energy consumption can be moved from peak periods to times when there is more green energy available: "A dishwasher can for example be equipped with two start buttons – one for when you want to start the machine immediately, and one which starts at a time when the system indicates that the electricity price is cheap or more environmentally friendly."


The project will be run in Germany and Greece over the next three years. In Germany there will be a full-scale test involving millions of customers of the energy company Energie Baden-Württemberg, while in Greece the test will be more in-depth in a local area.


Professor Christian S. Jensen of Aalborg University's Center for Data-intensive Systems describes what the Danish team will be doing in the project: "We will make use of the fact that we can get much more intelligent data out of households. Smart meter technology is not properly exploited today. They are installed so that they can be read wirelessly from out on the street, but they can be used for much more than that. People are creatures of habit, so if we can predict that a certain customer uses electricity for a particular purpose on a particular day, we can use that data to find out where the points of flexibility are in that customer's needs."

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