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A European joint programming initiative to develop integrated, regional, smart energy systems enabling regions and local communities to realize their high sustainable energy ambitions

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EN SGplusRegSys (A European joint programming initiative to develop integrated, regional, smart energy systems enabling regions and local communities to realize their high sustainable energy ambitions)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2020-01-31

JPP SES Focus Initiative Integrated Regional Energy Systems (ERA-Net Co-fund RegSys) combines technologies, market related solutions and means of stakeholder involvement in order to develop solutions that make it possible to efficiently provide, host and utilise high shares of renewables, up to and beyond 100% in the local or regional supply by 2030. Funded projects shall enable the participation of intra-regional systems in the inter-regional exchange of energy as well as in sharing responsibility to maintain the overall system performance. RegSys broadens the scope from electricity to smart energy systems, encompassing Smart Energy System Integration, Innovation Ecosystem Integration and Cross Sectoral Integration. It aims to prepare or implement demonstration projects (TRL 6-7) that show potential for follow-up projects with market uptake measures (TRL 8-9) as well as, in selected areas, for concepts and technologies of TRL level 3-6 that show potential to become best practice by 2030.

Main Objectives
-) Setup a joint programming initiative of ambitious national and regional RDD funding programmes from 15 European and associated countries in order to develop, demonstrate and validate integrated local and regional energy systems with a cross sectoral holistic approach
-) Coordinate national and regional RDD budgets to finance transnational projects to support the implementation of relevant European RDD agendas (i.e. the European SET-Plan) from 2018 until 2023.
-) Initiate co-creation processes on a programme level together with Associated Partners from the regional and local innovation and business communities in order to align the R&I knowledge relating to technology and system aspects with new innovation approaches from start-ups and local and regional stakeholders in societal and business
-) Organise a knowledge community together with experts from the resulting transnational projects and the regions in order to share best practise, develop planning tools and governance guidance increasing confidence to demonstrate and exploit new solutions and business opportunities
-) Create transregional and transnational synergies, providing the base for a critical mass of marketable solutions, the implementation of common standards and reference architectures as well as a linking to European innovation initiatives of the SET-Plan.
-) Expand the existing ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus with new partners and by piloting new ambitious formats and stimulate their uptake in the whole consortium of 21 European countries and regions.

The Joint Programming Platform Smart Energy Systems (JPP SES) is a network of owners and managers of national and regional public funding programs in the field of research, technical development and demonstration. The aim is to provide a sustainable and service oriented joint programming platform to finance transnational RDD projects, developing technologies and solutions in thematic areas like Smart Power Grids, Regional and Local Energy Systems, Heating and Cooling Networks, Digital Energy and Smart Services, etc. JPP SES with 30 funding partners from 23 countries has reached a broad involvement of many countries and regions in Europe and beyond, in order to contribute to the implementation of the European SET-Plan, particularly Action 4 „Increase the resilience and security of the energy system". It is understood as a management umbrella for ERA-Net co-fund initiatives in the field of SET-Plan Action 4 – Energy Systems, with a focus on energy system integration, sector coupling and digitalisation. Together with associated partners JPP SES provides an innovation eco-system, building bridges in the whole innovation chain. Co-creating with partners that help to understand the needs of customers, communities and regions, JPP SES teams up with intermediaries that support building consortia for research, innovation, technical development, piloting and demonstration actions, while at the same time establishing co-operations that can pave the way towards implementation in real-life environments and market introduction.
The RP1 period of the ERA-Net co-fund action “RegSys” (2018-2019) was a very important phase of further developing the Joint Programming Platform ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems. In 2018 the “umbrella” JPP Smart Energy Systems was set up with the start of the second “Focus Initiative”- the ERA-Net co-fund action RegSys (co-coordinated with ERA-Net co-fund action Smart Grids Plus). While in this RegSys RP1 reporting period the Focus Initiative (ERA-Net co-fund action) Smart Grids Plus launched its third joint call (2019), the new Focus Initiative RegSys added the new concept of integrated regional energy systems and the accompanying impact network approach with associated partners to the portfolio of the network. By end of 2018 it launched its first (EC co-funded) call. In 2019 projects resulting from this call started and had their first family meeting with the other projects of the Knowledge Community at the first “Joint Programming Conference on Smart Energy Systems”, which was organised as the final conference of the ERA-Net co-fund action Smart Grids Plus.

Main Results in RegSys RP 1:
• Develop the overall concept, structures and procedures in order to transfer the original initiative ERA-Net Smart Grids Plus into an umbrella “Joint Programming Platform Smart Energy Systems”, that is able to host and manage different ERA-Net co-fund actions under one umbrella
• Launch the first (EC co-funded) RegSys Joint Call 2018 as well as receiving the applications and preparing the selection process.
• Maintain the Knowledge Community
o prepare concepts for the integration of RegSys funded RDD projects
o Set up a working group on regional matters incl. a Task-Force on Energy Communities in cooperation with BRIDGE (relevant H2020 Projects)
o Develop concepts for the attraction of and collaboration with associated partners (Need Owners, Regional Business Clusters, Follow-up funders, etc.)
o Further develop the digital collaboration platform EXPERA, particularly integrating and expanding project reporting functions on the platform
Expected Major Log Term Impacts
-) Sustainable transnational cooperation of funding institutions and increased alignment of RDD and deployment programmes throughout Europe, thereby increasing the prominence of regions that are developing the technologies and services needed to reach the goals of the European Energy Union
-) Accelerating deployment of the latest resource-efficient and decarbonising energy system solutions by creating new business models as well as bridging multiple governance levels and thus strengthening Europe’s competitiveness in global markets
-) Well established open and harmonised marketplaces that allow for seamless access of (new) market players both in the energy domain and its supply industry (including SMEs and crafts), thereby contributing to substantial progress in growth and creation of jobs in Europe
-) Increased confidence of policy makers, regulators and utilities in the security and cost effectiveness of new solutions for energy supply that rely on distributed, renewable energy sources and a new market design, providing the right signals to enterprises and investors.
Dimensions of Integrated Regional Energy Systems Development