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Smart grids for the energy transition

Baden-Württemberg is rebuilding its power grids for the future. Intelligent networks, so-called smart grids, improve the conditions for a decentralized power supply and the integration of renewable energies and electricity storage into the grid.

The number of consumers actively participating in the electricity market is growing steadily. More and more electricity is being generated from solar and wind power and fed into the grid on a decentralized basis. This new energy world places high and complex demands on the network infrastructure.

To deal with these challenges, the transformation of power grids into intelligent and flexible networks, so-called smart grids, is an important key element. The Ministry of the Environment and Energy of Baden-Württemberg is consistently driving forward the expansion of these networks and the digitization of the energy transition. Environment and Energy Minister Thekla Walker reported on the specific efforts of the past two years to the Council of Ministers on March 8, 2022. “For the new energy world, we need smart and secure power grids. In Baden-Württemberg, we are continuing to systematically drive forward their expansion,” says Environment Minister Thekla Walker.

Digital networking and coordination

Energy Minister Thekla Walker said in Stuttgart on March 9, 2022: “Smart grids make it possible to interconnect and combine all the essential elements of the energy system using digital technologies – from generation to distribution and storage to consumption.” Supply and demand can thus be continuously matched to ensure a secure and efficient energy supply.

“In the coalition agreement, we stipulated that we would continue to advance these digital technologies and applications for the energy transition in the state. Now we need to continue and expand the many activities that we have already successfully initiated in recent years,” she continued.

Research, promote and bring together

Over the past two years, the Ministry of Environment has continued several formats to promote smart grids. These include the already ongoing and successful funding programs “Demonstration Projects Smart Grids and Storage” and “INPUT – Intelligent Grid Connection of Parking Garages and Underground Garages”, in which 28 projects were supported with 10.7 million euros in a total of three funding rounds.

The “Smart Grids Research – Digitally Connected” funding program was successfully completed in 2021, with which the Ministry of the Environment provided one million euros in funding for three projects on supply quality, grid planning and sector coupling.

A new project that was launched last year is “Smart East.” Over a period of three years, one million euros are now available to transform a heterogeneous commercial area in the Oststadt district of Karlsruhe into an energy-optimized smart quarter: an important lighthouse project that is intended to show how a smart quarter can be built and what marketing opportunities there are for emerging energy optimization potential.