Workshop -Smart and Synergy grid, towards a shared energy balance

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This workshop was conducted within the CABEE project by EURAC.

Workshop details

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EURAC logo.jpg

Title: Smart and Synergy grid, towards a shared energy balance

Date: 16.03.2015

Duration: 14:00 - 16:00

Location: Bolzano, Italy

Target audience: Public Authorities

Number of participants: 9

Workshop Summary

The aim of this workshop is to present the approach developed within the project CABEE for the synergy grid analysis to the local public authorities. In this regards, a general framework about the smart and synergy grids was presented and the potential application of the synergy grid and solutions for the demo case in Bolzano, the CasaNova neighborhood were shown. These considerations represent the starting points for discussion on the possible implementation of grids in public notices and regulations, in order to foster the innovation at local level.

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On first, the main features of a Smart Grid were presented, with a focus on the electrical issues and its potential application in smart cities. Then the concept of synergy grid was shown, highlighting the added value of cluster approach instead of a single-building one. In particular, the focus was on the innovation and sustainability of an integrated analysis and planning covering energy issues but also economic, environmental and social ones. Moreover, the CABEE Cluster tool was presented to the public authorities as a support for the evaluation of the synergy grid effectiveness. Finally, an analysis of the synergy grid approach on the demo case CasaNova in Bolzano was shown. In this potential application, a simulation of an integrated grid (photovoltaic, solar and district heating) was performed, showing the benefits, the costs and payback time of different combinations of elements. Moreover, starting from a synergy grid established for a small group of buildings, the feasibility of inclusion of additional buildings in the grid was foreseen, in order to show the potential expansion of the grid at neighborhood and city level.

Main outcomes

A discussion with the responsible local bodies on the implementation potential of the synergy grid approach was carried out. From the technological point of view, it was highlighted the high costs of grid-connection systems, and the difficulties of implementation in the common practice without specific incentives or additional findings. Nevertheless, the local PA showed interest in this topic, and highlighted how the implementation via research projects in pilot actions could represent an important opportunity to foster the future diffusion of these technologies, and pointed out the positive experience of the current project SINFONIA. Considering the regulation framework, currently it does not allow to foster the diffusion of the synergy approach, most of all for the energy-related issues. In fact, since it is difficult to evaluate the real energy flows, the energy providers did not define a shared approach for developing the utility bill for each user if several buildings are connected in the grid. In addition, it is not still available a local standard to implement the smart grid in buildings. Moreover, the importance of detailed simulations to determine real energy demand with a suitable resolution for an effective design of the grids was discussed as an important issue for the design activities: there is a need of experts in this field. Finally, the local public bodies, highlighted that the users are quite skeptical about the implementation of smart technologies in their buildings, and there are some unsuccessful examples of installation of smart metering in dwellings, since the user were not informed about the potential energy saving with these technologies. Therefore, the training of the user was identified as the first step in order to foster the implementation of these new technologies.