ERA-NET SES RegSys
ERA-Net SES Focus Initiative Integrated Regional Energy Systems (RegSys) combines technologies, market related solutions and means of stakeholder involvement in order to develop solutions that make it possible to efficiently provide, host and utilise high shares of renewables, up to and beyond 100% in the local or regional supply by 2030. Funded projects shall enable the participation of intra-regional systems in the inter-regional exchange of energy as well as in sharing responsibility to maintain the overall system performance. ERA-Net SES RegSys broadens the scope from electricity to smart energy systems, encompassing Smart Energy System Integration, Innovation Ecosystem Integration and Cross Sectoral Integration.
Regional and local energy systems and networks are composed of locally and regionally available energy sources, built infrastructure, specific production and consumption characteristics as well as user and consumer structures from different sectors, including the transportation system. They are part of the living environment of citizens, including, in some cases, highly ambitious clean energy goals of specific communities and regions. They provide appropriate services to consumers, customers and citizens as well as to the overall European energy system to help ensure the security of supply, maximise the primary energy efficiency and deliver a high share of renewable energy.
Local and regional energy systems will have to cope with a fundamental transformation in the coming years, responding to actual drivers such as the increasing uptake of new and improved technologies for decentralised energy systems, the boosting digitalisation and associated business models as well as current societal trends. In that respect, regional and local innovation ecosystems will have to play an important role.
In its "Clean Energy for All Europeans” legislative proposals (the so called "Winter Package”, covering energy efficiency, renewable energy, the design of the electricity market, security of electricity supply and governance rules for the Energy Union), the EC particularly highlights specific drivers and elements of regional and local energy systems. It highlights the fact that solar and wind technology prices have declined respectively by 80% and 30-40% between 2009 and 2015. Such cost-reduction is enabling consumers to produce and store their own renewable energy. According to the legislative proposal consumers shall benefit from increased allowances to produce their own electricity. They shall be allowed to organise themselves into renewable energy communities to generate, consume, store and sell renewable energy and feed any excess production back to the grid. This includes incentives for self-consumption of locally and regionally produced energy as well as for flexibility to help stabilise the overall electricity system. In the proposal for the internal electricity market a specific role is given to "Energy Communities” Not the least, the EC Winter Package recognises the potential of regional approaches, when it calls for "methodologies to assess security of supply and to identify crisis scenarios in the Member States and on a regional level, to conduct short-term adequacy assessments, to establish risk preparedness plans and to manage crisis situations.”
The overall goal of the ERA-Net SES Focus Initiative on Integrated Regional Energy Systems (RegSys) is to speed up the development and integration of such system solutions by promoting system management innovation. In a new systemic approach, all the elements such as electricity, gas, heating and cooling grids, end-use technologies in buildings and other infrastructure (e.g. water supply and sewage systems, transport system etc.), different kinds of end-users and management of energy conversion shall be combined and integrated in an innovative way. Regions and local communities shall be enabled to realise their high ambitions of moving towards decarbonised energy systems. At the same time they shall be linked to a secure and resilient European energy system. This shall include solutions that allow for a high proportion of renewables up to and beyond 100% in the local or regional supply.