The second day of the e-harbours mid term conference in Bruges (Belgium) featured interesting examples of Smart Grids in the making, and strengthened the links with corresponding European programs.
The first day of the mid term conference concentrated on the economic aspects of Smart Grids, analyzing the possible benefits, but also the economic and financial barriers that hinder the deployment of new intelligent electricity systems. On the second day, the focus was on social aspects of Smart Grids. How do we get Smart Grids organized ? And how do we win consumer support for a technology that will influence our daily lives?
Vesna Wågmark from the energy company E.ON presented the Malmö showcase of e-harbours , investigating consumer behavior in households connected to a Smart Grid. An apartment block is provided with solar systems and a small wind turbine, that produce the bulk of the energy consumption of the tenants (and their electric cars). The households get information on their energy performance, and indications what would be the best behavior to make maximum use of the renewable sources. Will they change their energy consumption patterns accordingly, and what incentives are the most effective?
Two other e-harbours showcases concentrate on the organization and lay-out of Smart Grids in different environments. Pure Energy Centre in the Shetland Islands, presented the Scalloway showcase. This fishing port is not connected to the national grid, and therefor has to generate its own energy. The showcase investigates under what conditions the local stakeholders (like fishermen, fish processing, cooling and freezing) can be brought together to develop a local Smart Grid.
The Amsterdam showcase also focuses on the organization of a small Smart Grid: in a marina for leisure boats. The municipality wants to stimulate the owners of leisure boats (15.000 vessels) to go electric, and stop using dirty diesel engines. A network of charging points for e-boats is developing. Smart marinas, where electric boats can be charged with renewable energy, are an important addition to the infrastructure. The City wants private companies to develop a Smart Marina in the river Amstel, and issued a tender.
Two presentations of new European programs completed the program. Tessa Major from the Antwerp Port Authority presented the outline of the Clean North Sea Shipping Program, aiming for a reduction of the (air)pollution caused by commercial vessels both on Sea, and in ports. Jaak Vlasveld, representing Green IT, showed the wide range of activities and themes that could be developed by this brand new European program: greening the IT-sector itself ( like reducing energy consumption by datacenters) and using IT to help make other sectors more sustainable.
Chairman of the session Jan Schreuder from the Municipality of Zaanstad concluded that both Clean North Sea Shipping and Green IT connect to research themes and aims of e-harbours, and promise to become strong partners.