Are bits and electrons driving a whole-system change?
Electricity systems increasingly embedding digital solutions (such as smart meters, artificial intelligence) open the door to unprecedented opportunities and challenges. This is why we support initiatives such the EU's energy digitalisation action plan by assessing smart grid projects/technologies deployment and interoperability, electricity systems development, electric vehicle integration and many other intelligent electricity system features.
Smart and digital grids are key components of the European strategy toward a net-zero energy and economy. They promise to open the door to a myriad of new applications, in the electricity sector and beyond.
The next-generation electricity grid is expected to integrate interoperable technologies – particularly in the energy, transport, information and communication fields, including: electric mobility solutions, demand response techniques, Artificial Intelligence, distributed ledger technologies / blockchains, storage devices, distributed energy generators – with the aim to increase reliability, affordability and sustainability of grid and market operations.
The anticipated benefits stemming from smart, digital grids cannot materialise without guaranteeing appropriate levels of interoperability - i.e. the ability of smart grid actors, components and applications to work together by exchanging data and information. To this end, in our laboratories we systematically test digital energy solutions and digital grid interoperability through real world implementations.
In order to gauge the implications of the anticipated paradigm shift for the electricity system, new reference architectures and assessment methodologies shall be developed to properly capture the interactions between the different actors and technologies to value and allocate the costs and benefits of such transformation. A fair allocation of costs and benefits among different players is crucial to support investments.
A unified approach towards a European framework for developing interoperability testing specifications is still missing. We established a Smart Grid Interoperability Laboratory within a European Interoperability Centre for Electric Vehicles and Smart Grids. The Smart Grid Interoperability Laboratory, deployed in the JRC Ispra (IT) and Petten (NL) sites, supports the development of EU policies by testing of the interoperability of devices and systems according to the applicable standards and with reference to relevant architecture and use cases. In our laboratories we systematically test and quantify the digital grid interoperability through real world implementations. The laboratory enables the modelling, testing and assessment of power systems beyond the capacities of each single entity, enabling remote access to software and equipment anywhere in the EU.
More in detail, we:
- test the interoperability of solutions, from the market and from research projects; promotes the use of a common interoperability testing methodology based on the CEN-CENELEC-ETSI framework; networks with other European laboratories and research centres for common initiative; networks with European industrial actors in various sectors; disseminates the results of testing campaigns.
- compiled best practices in a unified smart grid interoperability testing methodology, comprising of activities, inputs and outputs, and considering a wide range of smart grid implementations. We propose a detailed test set up, by designing an extensive template for the Basic Application Interoperability profile to be used as an interoperability testing protocol. The test specifications are created to guide the stakeholder through a step by step process by setting the Equipment under Test, the System under Test and the control/measuring equipment. The whole process is automated through an open source platform, the Smart Grids SGDOIT platform, which can be used as a common reference.
Our science for policy activities
The laboratory contributes to policy making and industrial innovation regarding the modernisation of the electricity grid.
With living labs we aim to co-create high-quality, policy-relevant and people-oriented solutions in the digital energy realm.
We are proposing a Code of Conduct for energy smart appliances that would ensure full interoperability among different products
Learn how we test and assess the integration and interoperability issues at the interface of the electric vehicles and the smart electricity system.
We performed rolling reviews of smart grid projects in cooperation with policy, regulatory, industrial and research partners since 2011.
Join our Smart Grid Design of Interoperability Tests (SG-DoIT) platform to store and use the products of the interoperability testing process.
We assess the AI and the energy sector interdependencies, developing models for governing the evolving power system dynamics and operations.
The inventory presents aggregated information about smart grid research topics and shows the tendencies of the research community.
Check out our latest effort to shed light on the features and challenges of the transitioning electricity distribution systems in Europe.
Digital transformation is a key enabler of societal transformation. Blockchain attracted interest due its potential to support climate-neutrality and green recovery policies.
We have been measuring progress on the deployment of smart meters for electricity across the EU.
We provided guidance for conducting cost benefit analysis of smart grid projects by developing a step by step assessment framework.
We assess the role and value of demand-side flexibility in enabling cost-efficient system operation and large scale integration of renewable energy.
We assess and test energy storage integration issues, with particular focus on the effects on power system operations and market dynamics.