REN­er­getic: IT solu­tion for ener­gy tran­si­tion from below

Res­i­den­tial areas in Ghent, Bel­gium, a uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus in Poz­nan, Poland, and a hos­pi­tal in Milan, Italy: the EU project Ren­er­getic is test­ing how cit­i­zen ener­gy can suc­ceed at these three loca­tions. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Pas­sau con­tributes exper­tise on the top­ic of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence and sustainability.

With the “Clean Ener­gy Pack­age”, the Euro­pean Union is reach­ing out to its cit­i­zens. These are to gen­er­ate the required ener­gy them­selves from renew­able sources in small, self-suf­fi­cient ener­gy com­mu­ni­ties. The EU project “REN­er­getic — Com­mu­ni­ty-empow­ered Sus­tain­able Mul­ti-Vec­tor Ener­gy Islands” is test­ing how this can be achieved at three dif­fer­ent Euro­pean loca­tions with very dif­fer­ent requirements:

- In the old port area of the Bel­gian city of Ghent, a new, urban and ener­gy-autonomous urban dis­trict is being cre­at­ed with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the citizens.
— On the tech­nol­o­gy cam­pus in Poz­nan, Poland, researchers are test­ing how the waste heat from a serv­er cen­ter can be used for heating.
— For the Uni­ver­si­ty Hos­pi­tal in Seg­rate-Milan, the research team is devel­op­ing a con­cept for smart ener­gy man­age­ment that includes not only the build­ings but also the charg­ing infra­struc­ture for the vehi­cles needed.

The IT solu­tion for all loca­tions is coor­di­nat­ed by Pas­sau: A team from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pas­sau led by Prof. Dr. Ing. Her­mann de Meer, hold­er of the Chair of Com­put­er Sci­ence with a focus on com­put­er net­works and com­put­er com­mu­ni­ca­tion, is respon­si­ble for the devel­op­ment of suit­able IT sys­tems in the EU project. The Pas­sau researchers can draw on find­ings and tools they have devel­oped in oth­er projects, includ­ing the method of smart charg­ing for e‑cars.

Par­tic­i­pa­tion of citizens

“The aim of the REN­er­getic project is to improve effi­cien­cy and ener­gy self-suf­fi­cien­cy with the involve­ment of local com­mu­ni­ties and to demon­strate the socio-eco­nom­ic fea­si­bil­i­ty of such ener­gy islands,” explains Prof. Dr. Ing. de sea. At all three loca­tions, the focus is on how the inter­ac­tion of heat sup­ply and elec­tric­i­ty can be made as sus­tain­able as pos­si­ble. The project also relies on the active par­tic­i­pa­tion of the cit­i­zens: they should be giv­en the oppor­tu­ni­ty to increas­ing­ly con­trol and shape their ener­gy infra­struc­ture themselves.

The Span­ish IT ser­vices group GFI Infor­máti­ca is coor­di­nat­ing the project. In addi­tion to the Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties of Pas­sau and Mannheim, Ghent Uni­ver­si­ty in Bel­gium, the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy in Poz­nan, Poland, and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Pavia in Italy are also involved in the research net­work. It is an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary net­work: the Europe-wide con­sor­tium includes researchers from the fields of com­put­er sci­ence, psy­chol­o­gy and law. In addi­tion, pri­vate sec­tor part­ners from the ener­gy sec­tor com­plete the pro­file of the consortium.

The project receives fund­ing from the EU Frame­work Pro­gramme for Research and Inno­va­tion Hori­zon 2020 (grant agree­ment no. 957845). 800,000 euros of this amount will go to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Passau.