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Demonstration of smart grid, storage and system integration technologies with increasing share of renewables: distribution system


Proposals will target the distribution grid (medium and low voltage levels) and demonstrate a combination of at least 3 of the following aspects:

  • Demand-response: mechanisms and tools allowing consumers to participate actively in the energy market and in demand response schemes (e.g. relying on smart metering); demonstration and validation of new business models for combining distributed energy resources, self-consumption and storage with optimized utilisation of distribution networks from all energy carriers;
  • Smartening the distribution grid: methodologies for improved control and automation of distribution networks, network management and monitoring tools with particular improved observability of variable generation and consumption loads, integration of Virtual Power Plants and microgrids as active balancing assets,
  • Demonstration of energy storage technologies (e.g. batteries, fly wheel, etc.) and/or connections between the electricity network and other energy networks such as power to heat solutions under cost competitive conditions (e.g. through heat storage with water boilers, heat pumps, thermal inertia of buildings, etc.) and power to gas / fuel solutions; demonstration of associated energy management systems and of services provided to the distribution grid and the consumers; technological developments for hydrogen production and storage are addressed in the frame of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen JU and are therefore excluded from this call but proposal may include the integration of such devices in the demonstration;
  • Smart integration of grid users from transport (e.g. electric vehicles, large ships and inland waterway barges while in ports) for charging, providing storage capacity or for their capacity to supply electricity to the grid.

The targeted technology readiness levels (TRL) will range typically between 5 and 8 (please see part G of the General Annexes). Proposals will indicate the estimated levels of TRL at the beginning and at the end of the project.

The proposed solutions should be demonstrated in large scale pilots and validated in real life conditions when possible or on real data if by simulation for a period of time ensuring credibility and consistency of conclusions. The funding should be primarily intended to be used to finance integration and coordination aspects; the need to fund hardware such as smart meters, storage devices, etc. should be duly justified in the proposals (Annex 1 and 2).

Proposals will include a detailed analysis of current regulations, standards and interoperability/interfaces issues applying to their case, in particular in connection to ongoing work in the Smart Grid Task Force and its Experts Groups in the field of Standardization (e.g. CEN-CLC-ETSI M/490), regulatory environment for privacy, data protection[[Commission Recommendation of 10 October 2014 on the Data Protection Impact Assessment Template for Smart Grid and Smart Metering Systems (2014/724/EU)]], cyber security, smart grid deployment, infrastructure and industrial policy (

Cost/benefit analysis, business models and plans for replication must be part of the proposed work.

Proposals will also foresee coordination with similar EU-funded projects (in particular those which will be funded under this call) in particular for policy relevant issues such as regulatory framework, business models, obstacles to innovation. It is recommended to reserve of the order of 2% of the EU funding for these activities. A Coordination and Support Action is foreseen for the organisation of this collaboration in this Work Programme (see Topic LCE-3-2016).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 12 and 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

To demonstrate a set of technologies and solutions in an integrated environment with the perspective of introduction in the market in the coming years to enable demand-response, smart grid, storage and energy system integration operating under stable and secure conditions in the context of an increasing share of renewable energy sources in the electricity grid.

Proposals must demonstrate that they are relevant, compatible with the broad EU energy policy context such as Climate-Energy packages, Energy Union. Where relevant, they should also indicate if and how they will contribute to:

  • ongoing policy developments in the field of the design of the internal electricity market, of the retail market, ongoing discussions on self-consumption,
  • enhanced interconnections between Member States and/or between energy networks.

Proposals will demonstrate contributing to the following overall impacts:

  • The EU power network will be capable of integrating large share of renewables exceeding 50% by 2030, in particular variable energy sources, in a stable and secure way
  • EU based companies will be able to deliver adequate competitive product and services on the market in 2-5 years after the end of the project
  • The demonstrated solutions have the potential to be scaled (if needed) and replicated

Proposals will also demonstrate if and how they contribute to the following more specific expected impacts:

  • Competitive demand response schemes for the benefit of the grid and the consumers
  • Validated contributions for improved, stability and flexibility in the distribution grid, avoid congestion; enabling near real-time pan European energy balancing market;
  • Emergence of new services provided by storage systems to the distribution grid and the consumers/prosumers at affordable costs, deferral of investments in grid reinforcement,
  • Conversion of excess electricity, avoid curtailment, provide services to the grid
  • Creation of synergies with transport users (e.g. services to the grid with smart charging) / support the decarbonisation of transport.

Finally, proposals will also include ad-hoc indicators to measure the progress against specific objectives of their choice which could be used to assess the progress during the project life.