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Posted: Nov 15, 2013
Intelligent energy: the future of power in Europe
(Nanowerk News) The EU has targeted a 20% cut in Europe's annual primary energy consumption by 2020, and proposed several measures designed to increase efficiency. These measures focus on public transport and buildings, where the potential for savings is greatest.
In addition, understanding end user needs - and giving them more control - can also play a crucial role. This is why the EU has consistently encouraged innovations that supply energy to where it is needed, and enable consumers to manage their energy use better. The EU-funded IURBAN project, which kicked off in October 2013, is a sign of exciting things to come.
This project aims to develop an intelligent tool that gives consumers greater control of their energy use and energy suppliers greater flexibility in providing the energy needed. The finalised tool will consist of a software platform that can integrate different ICT energy management systems. Useful data will be fed into a novel decision support system that will lead to more efficiently managed and distributed energy.
Importantly, the IURBAN project's customised energy management and control platform will be scalable, and thus applicable to cities and neighbourhoods. It will consist of the following elements: a local decision support system (LDSS) to engage consumers by capturing near real-time data related to their energy consumption, which can then be displayed on a user-friendly interface via smart phones, tablets and PCs. A centralised decision support system (CDSS) will aggregate data from all LDSSs to provide city-level decision support to authorities and energy service providers.
The tool is being developed in close collaboration with energy customers and city governments in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and Rijeka, Croatia, and is very much part of the move towards the achievement of Smart Cities.
A city is usually defined as 'smart' when investments transport and modern communication infrastructure leads to sustainable economic development and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources. It essentially means efficiency based on the intelligent management and integration of various services, alongside active citizen participation.
Smart European cities of the future will be powered by decentralized, clean energy. Many schools and hospitals already produce their own renewable energy, allowing them to significantly cut their energy expense. From the point of view of the energy companies, this trend presents new market opportunities.
The three year project has been awarded over ?3.8 million by the European Commission. It is due for completion in September 2016.