Significant European funding from the Horizon 2020 fund announced
DRIVING change in the energy sector, a European consortium with world-leading Irish expertise has received the first phase of approval for a €12million (£9.5million) grant from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020* fund.
The research and innovation grant will bring to fruition a large scale pilot study into the future of small-scale energy storage, and will see thousands of Portadown-manufactured Glen Dimplex Quantum energy systems installed throughout Europe.
The twelve-strong RealValue consortium** is unique in that it encompasses the entire energy supply chain, including many of the major players in the Irish energy sector – Glen Dimplex, SSE Airtricity, ESB Networks, EirGrid, Intel and the Electricity Research Centre at University College Dublin.
Commencing in April 2015, RealValue will involve the installation of Glen Dimplex Quantum energy systems into 1250 homes, 100 of which will be in Northern Ireland. The study will also include 700 homes in Ireland with the remaining pilot homes situated in Germany and Latvia.
Replacing traditional storage heaters, the Quantum energy system combines efficient, high-performance electric space and water heating with thermal energy storage capability. It was launched in 2013 as a result of the biggest-ever investment by Glen Dimplex in one piece of technology, and Research and Development for Quantum was driven by Glen Dimplex subsidiary – GDC Portadown.
With RealValue, the Quantum systems will be linked to energy providers via highly-advanced technology, developed by Intel. The smart system will also interpret data to forecast heat demand and consumer comfort preferences, and it will interact with the grid to manage supply and congestion.
Explaining the rationale and importance of RealValue, Chairman of Glen Dimplex, Mr Sean O’Driscoll commented:
“RealValue involves testing pioneering technology on a large scale to accelerate innovation. It’s the first large testing of this game-changing new model for renewable energy storage and will be instrumental in developing business models to quantify the potential of small scale storage moving forward.
“We are confident that RealValue will be a catalyst for change and we intend to present the results of the project to policy decision makers, helping to inform EU regulation.
RealValue is also a text book for collaboration in Northern Ireland, Ireland and within the EU, covering private and public sector enterprises working closely with academic research to deliver innovative business solutions of the future.”
From the RealValue consortium, Managing Director of SSE Airtricity, Stephen Wheeler added:
“’SSE Airtricity is delighted to be a key partner in this ground breaking initiative. The project will enable Northern Ireland and Ireland to lead the way in integrating small scale storage, at individual house level. This has the potential to deliver real consumer benefit in the future as well as enabling more renewable energy to be produced on the island: creating jobs, reducing CO2 and actively contributing to long term sustainability and security of energy supply.”
It is anticipated that the resulting benefits from the RealValue project will include cost savings, reduction of CO2 emissions and improvements in the flexibility and reliability of power systems across the globe.
Partners in the consortium working to validate the model at large scale are the Electricity Research Centre at University College Dublin, DIW (the German institute for economic research), the University of Oxford and VTT, one of Europe’s largest energy research centres.
The RealValue project will continue until 2018, and through the implementation of the physical demonstrations and results from broader modelling tasks, it’s hoped that RealValue will be the catalyst in creating a greener future for how consumers use and store energy.