Greenwashing the Smart Grid: simply call it the EcoGrid
At the forthcoming Smart Grid Australia (SGA) Conference, Parliament House, Canberra, 5th March 2014, a presentation is to be given about the EcoGrid project. Clever move on part of the European spin doctors. Greens leader Christine Milne is keynote speaker at the conference and she will be sure to like the concept of an environmentally friendly EcoGrid. However there is no difference between the EcoGrid and the Smart Grid except for the spelling. Its called Greenwashing.
Here is an excerpt from the conference web site.
The EcoGrid EU project
The objective of the EcoGrid EU project is to illustrate that modern information and communication technology (ICT) and innovative market solutions can enable the operation of a power system with more than 50% renewable energy sources (RES) such as wind, biomass and photovoltaic (PV).
Activating electricity demand and bringing electricity customers into the power market provides additional capacities to balance the power system in a secure and economical way. EcoGrid EU proposes to extend the current wholesale electricity market to allow increased participation of so-called distributed energy resources (DER). The modernisation of the existing power market design will increase the market value of wind power and other RES, which in the long run is expected to provide the economic incentives for a higher penetration of renewable energy.
The project demonstrates a real-time market concept in a large-scale field test on the Danish island Bornholm. Bornholm is an ideal field test site: including 1,900 electricity customers and up to 100 industry/commercial buildings on Bornholm, the EcoGrid EU demonstration intends to show the potential of power system balancing from different kinds of electricity customers.
The fundamental principle of the EcoGrid EU real-time market concept is to exploit flexibility in electricity consumption. Flexibility (later also named flexible consumption) in this case is typically associated with heat pumps and electric heating, either for hot water or to keep the house warm. The consumption is flexible since the heat can be stored and there is normally a range of acceptable temperatures. There may be other significant sources of flexibility consumption in homes, eg if an electric vehicle is used.
In order to exploit this flexible consumption, the house must be “˜smart”™. It must have the capability of acting on external input to either consume more or less electricity than planned in a particular time period. The house must also have meters that are able to register the consumption of the electricity customers very close “” from minute to minute, to be used in advanced demand forecast models of electricity and settlement.
Furthermore, the house must have direct and online customer feedback systems, ie communicating current consumption data and electricity prices in real-time. In the EcoGrid EU project, changes to participants”™ consumer behaviour can be tracked directly via the web portal “˜My Eco-Grid”™. The feedback system will inform, motivate and sensitise customers to the adjustments of their consumption, eg according to the variations in the electricity prices. In the EcoGrid EU case, this means a real-time electricity price varying every five minutes.
In short: The EcoGrid EU concept brings all elements of the electricity system “” generation, transmission, distribution and consumption “” closer together to improve the overall power system operation for the benefit of the consumer and the environment.
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