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SmartGrids ERA-NET

Final Report Summary - SMARTGRIDS ERA-NET (SmartGrids ERA-NET)

Executive Summary:
The objective was also to establish cooperation beyond the ERA-NET and between RTD managers EU-wide. That objective was reached. More than 20 funding agencies from European countries have formed a new ERA-NET SG+ and committed themselves to a budget for ERA-NET cofund calls in 2014-2015 of approx. € 30 mio.
SmartGrids ERA-NET developed transnational research activities which speeded up the development of a Smart European Electrical Infrastructure. Smart Grids are a necessity for a successful realisation of Horizon 2020, the 2030 framework and the 2050 roadmap. All developments in the transition to sustainability are heading towards an electricity supply with a large share of renewable s and high penetration levels of distributed generation. A challenge. And even a bigger challenge with the ongoing shift in energy (end) use to electricity. Smart grids can make it work.
Smart grids also enable the development to a smarter world, wherein the electricity supply changes from a centralized top down system to an interactive hybrid system with strong consumer responses.
SmartGrids ERA-NET and the follow up, ERA-NET SG+ is a network of managers responsible for funding Smart Grids related research activities within the national and regional public programmes. The network is closely connected to policy makers and the European industry. Hence, SmartGrids ERA-NET contributed to the mutual opening up of the research programmes, research infrastructures and joint activities (calls). An overview of SmartGrids projects and country snap shots where made to facilitate this.
The SmartGrids ERA-NET consortium represented national and regional programmes from 20 European regions/countries which gave network the critical mass required for successful operations. All members assigned senior staff to SmartGrids ERA-NET, experienced with home front programmes and international cooperation.
SmartGrids ERA-NET resulted in 3 joint calls, funded 9 international research projects in which 9 European and regions are involved and the formation of the ERA-NET SG+.

Project Context and Objectives:
In this summary a short description of the work carried out in the different work packages is given including the main scientific results, the impact dissemination and exploitation of the results and an overview of contact information for those interested more detailed information.
1.1 Summary of the work carried out
SmartGrids ERA-NET was set up to develop transnational research activities to speed up the development of a Smart European Electrical Infrastructure: A necessity for a successful realisation of The European Strategic Energy Technology Plan, European Electricity Grid Initiative and Horizon 2020.
SmartGrids change the European electricity supply with strong(er) consumer response, large scale supplies of renewable electricity and high levels of distributed generation. SmartGrids ERA-NET has provided co-ordination of the related research activities within the national and regional public (co)funded RTD. SmartGrids ERA-NET creates a network of programme managers, closely connected to policy makers and industry that undertakes joint activities.
The work was carried out in four stages, starting with information exchange among the partners, to reach mutual understanding (WP2). In the next step (WP3) a strategy was developed for intensifying cooperation between national and regional programmes, and for better alignment of these programs with the EC work plans (FP7; Horizon 2020). In the third step (WP4) joint activities were implemented and an ERA-NET Cofund call was prepared. Moreover this step led to a collaboration structure for programme owners and –managers beyond the project: The ERA-NET SG+
During the project ERA-NET SmartGrids three joint calls were prepared and executed (WP5).
Dissemination activities and coordination of the project was undertaken continuously (WP1)
Work package 1, Coordination and dissemination

This part of WP1 was leaded by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. As from the start this ERA-NET was open for programme owners and –managers from all MS’s, associated and candidate countries. During time the ERA-NET was strengthened with the addition of several new partners.
The Consortium represents National and Regional programmes of nearly 20 European countries, which gave the SmartGrids ERA-NET the critical mass required for successful operations. All members have assigned senior staff to this ERA-NET, who are experienced with home front programmes and international cooperation.
Since the start of the project, the SmartGrids landscape changed. The SmartGrids ETP (European Technology Platform) was reorganized; a Taskforce SmartGrids was formed and the network operators started the European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI) to comply with the SET plan targets for 2020 and beyond. SmartGrids ERA-NET has started to establish close cooperation with the European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI) for activities of common interest.
EnergiNet.DK leaded the dissemination activities. All publications are available on the general ERA-NET website NETWATCH and on two project websites:
For the activities and results realized during the first 3 periods, the original project period
For the activities and results realized in the 4th (extended) period. This website is dedicated to the ERA-NET SG+ and ERA-NET Cofund calls.
Work package 2, Information exchange
On the bases of an inventory (Deliverable 2.2.2) mutual understanding between the consortium partners was reached. This inventory has been used as structured information exchange between RTD programme owners and –managers. Best practices in programme management and evaluation of proposals were shared and common RTD priorities have been identified. After finalising this work package in the first year of this ERA-NET, all results were published on the project website. The results were kept up to date and elaborated as part of Work package 3.
Work package 2 was led by Innobasque.
Work package 3, Strategic activities
WP3, led by Bacher Energie, deducted ERA-NET strategies for the cooperation between national and regional programmes. This covered the identification of relevant issues and topics for transnational collaboration; the identification of an organisational framework which clarifies processes related to project evaluation, reviews and information dissemination. During the project we saw an increasing relevance of smart grids research, the development and demonstration in Europe (SET plan, Horizon 2020, the SmartGrids ETP and the EEGI) and the need for more collaboration with other EU smart grids activities. This has led to an intermediate update of WP3 (Amendment 1) with changes to deliverables, their priorities and corresponding milestones.
The key objectives of WP3 were to:
• identify gaps, complementarities and strategic opportunities for national programmes
• deduct a catalogue of prospective European research priorities on SmartGrids (achieved)
• identify barriers to transnational collaboration and d) to make suggestions to overcome these barriers proposing a transnational collaboration framework (achieved);
• prepare recommendations on shared reviewing, evaluation, monitoring and dissemination processes
All these objectives were reached and integrated in the setup of the ERA-NET SG+ quality and support project processes. Follow-up actions are foreseen for inherent quality management, starting in the year 2015. (see WP4).
Work package 4, Implementation of joint activities
WP4a leader was BMVIT (Austria). The WP’s aim was to create an ERA-NET Smart Grids Plus. That aim was reached with the formation of the ERA-NET SG+. The project has been working on fostering and enabling European research by implementing joint activities in the field of Smart Grids to improve the strategic position of the European Smart Grids know-how within the world-wide competitive environment . This was developed with a series of workshops with experts on different topics, the EU-walk to Smart Grid Excellence.

During the extended period of the project a core team formed the EAR-NET SG+, the created a working document for this ERA-NET SG+. This new ERA-NET will continue the work of the project. This is described in deliverable 4A.5.1 “Design of an effective collaboration structure” with Management Structure, definition of the roles and responsibilities of the ERA-NET SG+; the support project and the budget model.
Work package 5, transnational activities
WP leader was Nordic Energy Research (NER). A robust management system and efficient procedures for joint transnational calls were developed and used for three transnational calls, managed by NER on behalf of the programme managers of the individual participating national and regional programmes. Next to the partners of the SmartGrids ERA-NET also other programmes have participated in joint calls.
The management system developed is documented in 3 deliverables: 5.2.1: Management system for transnational calls, 5.2.2: Electronic submission system and 5.3.1: Communication to the research community (announcement of call for proposals). NER promoted the calls in various meetings, on the SmartGrids ERA-NET homepage. NER and the funding agencies involved promoted the calls on their own websites.
In the first joint call, launched in 2010, research programmes from DK, NO, ES, CH, AU, FR, LV, EE and BE participated. The second call was published in 2011 wherein research programmes participated from DK, NO, ES, TR and CH. The third and last joint call was published in 2013 as a collaboration between programmes from DK, NO, SE, TR, HR and PL.
Titles of the 9 funded projects:
• The impact of prosumers
• Efficient identification of opportunities for distributed generation based on smart grid technology
• Power quality and safety requirements for people and electrical equipment in smart grid consumer domain
• Optimizing green energy and grid load by geographical steering of energy consumption
• Optimizing sizing and control of balancing power in the future European system considering transmission system constraints
• Integration households in the smart grid
• Protection of power electronically interfaced LV distributed generation networks
• Cyber physical security
• Flexible electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Project Results:
S&T results
There are two different sets of S&T results. First of all the consortium intensified the pan-European co-operation resulting in better alignment of regional, national and European programmes. This is related to the co-operation and information exchange between the consortium partners and associated stakeholders. This co-operation will continue beyond the project in the ERA-NET SG+, with the ongoing preparations of the first ERA-NET Cofund as a first concrete step.
The second set of S&T results is coming directly from the projects funded through the three joint calls. Although some of the funded projects are still ongoing, it already established new cooperation’s between researchers and industry in several European countries. Articles have been published in scientific magazines and project results have been disseminated at different workshops and events. The funded projects contribute to expand the European knowledge base in this sector.
All results of the SmartGrids ERA-NET are foregrounds.
The most relevant deliverables are presented in table 1.

Table 1, overview most relevant deliverables.

An overview of the original communication plan is shown in the figure below.

For the different target groups:
• EU-programme owners/managers
The ERA-Net Smart Grids has held workshops with forums working with renewables. This includes the research areas:
o Photo voltaic (PV ERA-Net and IEA: PVPVS)
o Wind (IEA, Norway)
o Smart Cities
o E-Mobility
• Stakeholders
The ERA-NET has indeed gained from the fact that several key persons in the ERA-NET were also are active in other forums, for instance EEGI, ISGAN, ETP Smart Grids, PVPVS IEA and GRID+.
The fact that a large number of key persons in the smart grids sector act in different forums was also very visible at the 4th General Assembly in Rome March 2012. For instance the presenters of the SRA 2035; the EcoGrid EU project and one of the chairs were ERA-NET partners. Finally the ERA-Net Smart Grids was an active member of the planning committee.
National dissemination
All members of the ERA-NET gave high priority to the domestic dissemination of the ERA-NET findings. Unfortunately it is not possible to give an exact counting, but the table listing the presentations indicate a high level of activity. J
Given the relatively high number of pre-proposals in the three joint calls indicates that the national programme owners and managers have made an active effort in disseminating the SmartGrids ERA-NET activities.

General dissemination
Very early in the project period a project website was developed. This website is still up and running ( and has been very useful in the dissemination of results, process of match making between research organisations in the three joint calls.
At the start of the project a project logo, a hand out and a fact sheet were made.
Concluding remarks
As the number of entities working within the area of smart grids exploded in the project period, it has been a delicate task to identify and reach out to the most relevant parties. The SmartGrids ERA-NET managed however cooperate with several entities as well as making a difference in the dissemination of how to utilize smart grid solutions in the future energy systems. The two major outcomes of the SmartGrids ERA-NET are:
• Trans-national collaboration of researchers, industries, manufactures and others was made possible by the three joint calls. Partners are brought together in a much smaller set-up than FP7 funded projects. New relations have been established, some of which certainly will continue beyond the funded projects.
• The engaged commitment of actually all partners as well as new ones to continue their activities in the ERA-NET SG+: This indicates clearly that the national and regional programme owners and managers are convinced that they can benefit of the activities in this kind of joint activities.

Potential Impact:
At meta level the SmartGrids ERA-NET contributes to a reliable, affordable and sustainable future electricity supply in the EU. The project lined up the European, National and Regional Research programmes, and led to more efficiency and more speed in delivery of public (co)funded RTD. It also prepared an ERA-NET Cofund call under Horizon 2020.
The international cooperation also contributes to a better functioning of the internal market and reaching an EU-wide level playing field for sustainable electricity generation. That can speed up deployment of renewables and energy savings in the electricity sector and contributes to stronger EU based industry.
Ideally the international cooperation in SmartGrids ERA-NET would have led to joint programming European, national and regional RTD programmes. SmartGrids ERA-NET made steps towards that situation. It brought mutual understanding among programme owners and –managers of the RTD needs in the EC. Secondly, SmartGrids ERA-NET provided good overviews of existing RTD projects. This paved the way to improve the quality and efficiency national and regional programmes and the publicly funded research in general.

In the collection and analysis of existing information, SmartGrids ERA-NET cooperated with likewise oriented EU-projects (i.e. IRED, Reliance and ERMInE) and other networks such as the IEA Implementing Agreement ISGAN; the European Technology Platform SmartGrids and the European Electricity Grid Initiative (EEGI).
During 2008 – 2009 ERA-NET co-operated with the ETP SmartGrids. Their vision and Strategic Research Agenda was used to guide the SmartGrids ERA-NET in scope and activities.
The renewal of the SmartGrids landscape in 2009-2010 gave ERA-NET SmartGrids the opportunity to expand their cooperation with other organisations and networks. Cooperation’s were established with the European Electricity Grid Initiative.
SmartGrids ERA-NET strongly interacted with the SmartGrids European Technology Platform in their process of drafting the Strategic Research Agenda 2035, the European Electricity Grid Initiative in their process of drafting their EEGI Roadmap 2010-2018 and Detailed Implementation Plan 2010-2012 , the SET-plan and Horizon 2020.
In 2012 SmartGrids ERA-NET organised a General Assembly, in cooperation with the SmartGrids European Technology Platform. The Technology Platform presented there the Strategic Research Agenda 2035; the ERA-NET presented their monitoring results, one of the key deliverables of the project.

At European-Regional Level SmartGrids ERA-NET also interacted with DACH Initiatives (cooperation between Germany; Austria and Switzerland) and National SmartGrids Platforms.

List of Websites:
Project website
Co-ordinator Ruud de Bruijne
Beneficiary organisation name Country - Region Contact person E-mail
NORDIC ENERGY RESEARCH Nordic Countries Filip Ehrle Eveling
ENERGINET.DK Denmark Jeannette Møller Jørgensen jmj@energinet.nk
MINISTERSTVO ZA OBRAZOVANIE I NAUKA Slovenia Milena Cernilogar - Radez
BACHER ENERGIE AG Switzerland Dr. Rainer Bacher
TÜBİTAK Turkey Ilknur Yilmaz
PLATFORM Country - Region Contact person E-mail website
TKI Switch2SmartGrids Netherlands Olivier Ongkiehong
Slovenian Smart Grids Technology Platform Slovenia prof. Igor Papič
The Norwegian Smartgrid Center Norway Grete Coldevin
Smart Grids Austria Austria Dr. Angela Berger
Verein Smart Grid Schweiz Switzerland Oliver Krone
Smart Grids Flanders Belgium Heidi Lenaerts N/A
Danish Intelligent Energy Alliance Denmark Morten Baadsgaard Trolle
DI network for smart grid Denmark Sune Thorvildsen
Smart Energy Networks Partnership Denmark Jacob Østergaard
Forum for Smart Grid and Renewable Energy – Danish Standards Denmark Regnar Schultz
DESCRIPTION Country - Region Contact person E-mail website
Annual Conference of the Technological Platform for Smart Grids Slovenia N/A N/A