Energy Sector Integration: Integrating and combining energy systems to a cost-optimised and flexible energy system of systems

1000000 €

Project results are expected to contribute to most of the following expected outcomes:

  • Demonstrated benefits of sector integration in different geographic, climate and economic conditions.
  • Improved planning of integration of power, heat, gas, industry with a production site(s) of renewable energy.
  • Optimised operations of coupled networks (e.g. electricity vs. heating).
  • Validated tools and platforms enabling effective sector coupling as tested in large demonstration projects.
  • Consolidated methodology to evaluate the impacts on OPEX, CAPEX and overall value creation connected to the integration of flexibility from storage and other energy flexibility solutions.

Projects should demonstrate the benefits of the integration of different elements. This includes in particular electricity and gas networks, district heating and cooling, and long term energy storage systems (for example Hydrogen, power-to-X, thermal storage, hydro-storage). It can also include mobility systems (e.g. e-mobility infrastructure) and energy-intensive industry and/or industrial clusters or sites. Projects should demonstrate the integration at local (i.e. distribution networks) and at national level (i.e. transmission networks), and the interactions between them.

  • Develop 2 or 3 pilots in different Member States/Associated Countries that demonstrate of solutions for energy system integration based on integrated management of various networks and infrastructures. The pilots could include for example:
    • Electricity and gas networks;
    • Implementation of solutions for district heating and cooling as sector integration for energy storage and flexible operation at different energy carriers;
    • E-mobility infrastructure;
    • Solutions for industry and industrial clusters for integrated flexible generation, consumption and energy storage;
    • Flexible stand-alone systems and tools for living quarters and small and medium sized businesses and industries based on renewable generation, sector-coupling and storage technologies;
    • Integrated systems to allow for long term (weekly, seasonal) energy storage.
  • Demonstrations can be build up based on a combination and integration of various locally optimised grids into overall system management.

Projects should provide a preliminary analysis including country-specific challenges, a sustainability assessment for the environmental impact, social acceptance, as well as economic feasibility.

The participation of inter- and trans-disciplinary consortia combining expertise and capacity from public authorities, urban stakeholders, infrastructure providers, knowledge institutions, planners, entrepreneurs, societal actors and citizens is advised to address the challenges of this topic.

Projects should develop a consolidated methodology to evaluate interaction of coupled networks and the impact on OPEX and CAPEX connected to the integration of flexibility from storage and other energy vectors as well as to build upon integrating knowledge on cost reduction for the relevant conversion processes.

Projects should develop innovative tools for:

  • Assessment of technical and operational challenges, including environmental impact and social acceptance.
  • System planning toolboxes to determine the optimal sizing, location and distribution of energy storage systems and technologies to facilitate their optimal use at different grid levels, as well as system planning toolboxes to determine the optimal location and utilisation rate of available energy conversion plants.
  • Aging models’ definitions for several storage technologies according to the operating conditions and required regulation services.
  • Communication, platforms and devices for increased observability/controllability of the generation, consumption and storage resources and the measurement acquisition.
  • Tools to quantify the flexibility provided by sector integration.

Where relevant, projects should collaborate with the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking on aspects that require integration of hydrogen.

Activities in relation to production of hydrogen are excluded, as all production aspects are covered through calls of the Clean Hydrogen Institutional Partnership. Fuel Cell Micro Boilers technology is also excluded due to technology development through the Clean Hydrogen Partnership. Cooperation with the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, for example through joint projects, is however welcomed.

The selected projects are expected to contribute to relevant BRIDGE[1] activities.

Specific Topic Conditions:

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 6-8 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities