E-Energy at a Glance
"E-Energy: ICT-based energy system of the future" is a new major funding project initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) in line with the German Federal Government's technology policy. At the 2008 National IT Summit, Federal Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel declared it a beacon project due to its vital importance in terms of both innovation and the national economy.
E-Energy: the "Internet of Energy"
The primary goal of E-Energy is to create E-Energy model regions that demonstrate how the immense potential for optimization presented by information and communication technologies (ICT) can best be harnessed to enhance the efficiency and environmental compatibility of the power supply and to ensure supply security. It is also hoped that the regional E-Energy model projects will pinpoint ways to create new jobs and markets. To this end, integrative ICT system concepts that optimize the entire electricity supply system - from generation and transport all the way to distribution and consumption - are being developed and put through their paces in practically oriented tests.
An E-Energy technology competition was held and six model projects were declared the winners. They each pursue an integral system approach, covering all energy-relevant economic activities both at the market and technical operating levels. Due to the important role E-Energy plays in the development of renewable energies and the boosting of energy efficiency, the model projects are being funded within the framework of an interministerial partnership with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The BMWi is providing up to €40 million for four of the model regions and the BMU is contributing up to €20 million for the other two regions. Added to the capital invested by the participating companies themselves, a total of some €140 million will thus be mobilized for the development of six E-Energy model regions. All projects went ahead according to schedule in the fourth quarter of 2008. By 2012, the selected model regions are to develop their promising proposals up to the stage at which they are ready for market launching and to test their marketability in everyday application.
The energy marketplace
The purpose of the E-Energy model projects is to develop an "Internet of Energy" which monitors, controls and regulates the electricity system intelligently. An Internet of Energy interconnects the numerous stakeholders in the energy system, ranging from power generation and transportation companies to stakeholders in power distribution and consumption. This results in an integrated data and power network featuring completely new structures and functions. For instance, smart electricity meters known as "Smart Gateways" connect private households with energy providers, thus permitting a continuous bidirectional comparison of the electricity supply and demand. In this way, the consumer becomes an active market participant.
The E-Energy scenario: development of an "Internet of Energy" that intelligently monitors, controls and regulates the electricity system.
Utilizing renewable energy sources through electric mobility
The networking of the various stakeholders on the energy market as envisaged by E-Energy opens up possibilities for major advances, especially in the field of electric mobility. Electricity will play a tremendously important role in road traffic in the future, as fossil fuel reserves continue to dwindle. For example, an Internet-based incentive and marketing system could offer battery-powered electric cars the option of purchasing electricity less expensively whenever large volumes of electricity are available at non-peak times. Indeed, a sizeable number of electric cars combined could then act as the equivalent of a large electrical accumulator in the "Internet of Energy", temporarily covering peak load demands.
E-Energy boosts Germany's international competitiveness
"E-Energy: ICT-based energy system of the future" harbours enormous opportunities for the creation of new jobs and markets. With this current research project, Germany has secured itself a pioneering role in Europe and indeed the world over, making it a key actor on the global energy market in the long term. By funding this project, the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has set its sights on major successes in the national economy and the energy industry. Ultimately, E-Energy will boost competition along the entire value-added chain of power stations and network operators, while developing areas of growth and creating new occupational fields in the overlapping sectors of ICT and energy technology.