In this live panel interview at European Utility Week, Peter Nemcek, VP Research & Development, cyberGRID; Gianluigi Migliavacca, Head of Transmission Grid Development, RSE; and Ursula Krisper, Head of Advanced Services, Elektro Ljubljana discuss the eBadge project and its aims.
eBadge project’s goals
eBadge is an EU funded FP7 project with the objective of proposing an optimal pan-European Intelligent Balancing mechanism, which is also able to integrate Virtual Power Plant Systems (VPPs) by means of an integrated communication infrastructure that can assist in the management of the electricity transmission and distribution grids in an optimized, controlled and secure manner.
eBadge’s aim of balancing the European electricity market brings great value to Europe because it enables the market to function more efficiently and with less wastage. It also has the potential for reducing the costs of balancing services throughout Europe.
Nemcek decribes e-Badge as a true smart grid project. He says that on the one side, it studies balancing markets and on the other, it researches the value of advanced ITC tools and VPPs that will contribute towards the development of an integrated balancing market. He explains that a study across the electricity markets of Slovenia, Austria and Italy reveal the benefits of an integrated balancing market. The study revealed that the overall cost of balancing energy can be reduced by half.
Reduce costs and consumption
The idea is to create a coupled balancing market to share the amount of available reserve, allowing for the reduction in electricity costs across Europe, explains Migliavacca.
Krisper says that VPPs can be used as a tool in their power system to help reduce energy consumption. As part of the eBadge project, home energy hubs have been installed in homes in order to measure electricity consumption. “The idea is to merge available power in households and find out how much power is available for the system from real customers.”
Nemcek says that VPPs help local businesses like industry and commercial customers to lower their overall energy bill by providing additional flexibility to the balancing market. “The issue we have today is that balancing markets are designed for conventional peaking power plants and the rules are not in favour of VPPs. VPPs are not yet on equal ground with conventional generation due to existing rules which need to be changed so that flexibility can be created from clean energy sources.”
Migliavacca says that VPPs could be the answer to reducing the number of peaking power plants so that existing resources can be made available for balancing. “This can be done across the border but it can also be done vertically between transmission and distribution sectors. The more liquid the market is, the better it is for the taxpayer. Balancing is important as reserve will be needed more and more for the future. Coupling will most definitely be profitable for the system.”