Consumers make renewable energies efficient

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ReDREAM the latest European initiative of the Bridge-Horizon2020 project has started work.

Written by Patrick Rembe; Picture Credit: Diego PH on Unsplash

Imagine using renewable energy more efficiently and more cheaply by a change in behaviour, thus helping to protect the environment in a big way. Even though more than 24% of the world’s energy is now produced sustainably, electricity produced from solar or wind farms can still not be stored in large quantities. This limits their efficient use.

ReDREAM, an EU-funded project coordinated by Prof. Dr. Alvaro Sánchez Miralles from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas in Madrid, is now set to revolutionize how we use renewable energy. And the team of international scientists, technicians and companies is relying primarily on us, the consumers. “We will develop an eco-system that puts the consumer at the centre,” says Professor Dr. Sánchez Miralles confidently, describing the whole new way of looking at the use of energy. ReDream is all about putting the consumer at the heart of the energy transition by a radical rethink of the electricity system. Emphasis will be put on energy efficiency, locally produced power and people’s flexibility. To get consumers fully on board, ReDREAM will set out an ecosystem of all the key players in the electricity system. Whereas previously, corporations dictated prices and purchase quantities, now the end consumer is to have a say. To achieve this, the project, which is part of the European initiative Bridge Horizon2020, relies on state-of-the-art technology. Cloud services and artificial intelligence are the basis of the ecosystem, which is to be ready for the market within the next three years.

ReDREAM offers transparency, builds trust and empowers the end user. The new ecosystem will be designed to optimally manage energy resources and to involve people more actively in the energy transition. If people are flexible in their use of ventilation, heating, freezing and electromobility, then more energy efficiency will come about. Benefits to the consumer include lower bills, better comfort and cool aesthetic tech in the home. And utilities, architects, urban planners, engineers and researchers will be able to share their knowledge and experience of the “ecosystem”, helping to foster more sustainable use of renewables in the future.

“There is an exciting time ahead of us, in which we will turn our idea into reality for a sustainable energy use,” says the coordinator of Intelligent Systems Research Group at Comillas University. The international team plans to implement the first tests in communities in Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, and Croatia as early as 2021.

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