EnergyVille accelerates the energy transition with six new projects

News15-06-2023

The Council of Ministers approved six EnergyVille projects for the Energy Transition Fund, which falls under the authority of the Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten. This marks an important starting point for new and innovative research within a wide range of energy topics. The six approved projects that EnergyVille’s research partners KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt will work on are HARMONIC, STERNA, FlexMyHeat, REINVENT, R-E-FLEX and Hefaistos.

In the autumn of 2023, six new energy transition projects will start within EnergyVille, supported by the Energy Transition Fund. This fund was created to encourage energy research, development and innovation within federal energy competences. EnergyVille is involved in six projects with a duration of between two and five years.

The projects

HARMONIC – Hosting cApacity impRoveMent of POwer Electronic Converters for large-scale iNdustrIal eleCtrification

The massive future use of large-scale power electronic converters will support the electrification of industrial processes, essential to achieving net-zero goals. Current practices show that the interactions of these inverters with the transmission grid are increasingly difficult to manage. HARMONIC will develop a framework that allows to determine the “hosting capacity”, considering the safety and reliability of the grid, resulting in the elimination of technical obstacles in industrial electrification.
Partners: KU Leuven, Elia, BASF
Duration: 3 years

STERNA 2050

STERNA 2050 examines the potential contribution of superconducting system technologies to security of supply, the increased share of renewable energy for Belgium and the associated socio-economic impact. A complementary academic-industrial consortium will investigate the expected prospects of the North Sea as a green power plant of Europe for 2030 – 2050. In addition, innovative technological scenarios to bring power flows to Belgium are examined, combined with a comprehensive assessment of the environmental impact, the use of materials, and the economic impact over the entire lifecycle.
Partners: KU Leuven, 3E, DEME, Supernode
Duration: 2 years

FlexMyHeat

Due to more electrification and the increase in renewable energy in the energy mix, the need for flexibility in the energy market is increasing. To meet this need, the FlexMyHeat consortium will quantitatively assess the potential of heat pumps linked to decentralized storage solutions to support the energy balance in Belgium in 2030 and 2050. Based on this assessment, control algorithms will be designed to optimally exploit this flexibility in the future.
Partners: imec, Destore, LifePowr, Elia, ORES, Energie Commune, Thomas & Piron
Duration: 19 months

REINVENT – MaRket dEsign INnoVation to support an integrated Belgian ENergy sysTem

Different energy carriers (electricity, gas, heat, green molecules) play a role in a connected energy system. Sector coupling takes place at the supply-side with the integration between multiple energy carriers and at the demand side with the coupling between different end user segments. Maximizing the benefits of sector coupling requires a fundamental rethinking of market design, business and financing models. REINVENT will define a roadmap for sector coupling in Belgium based on advanced models and robust test cases.

The project will support the following objectives with a combination of R&D (Digital Twin for sector coupling for Belgium) and relevant pilot projects:

  • Define a unified and integrated vision on sector coupling for Belgium
  • Adaptations to market design to support sector coupling
  • Development of multi-carrier business models for both industrial and residential flexibility (focusing on energy communities)
  • Set of case studies/pilots that will calculate the feasibility of certain ‘sector coupling concepts’ or demonstrate specific multi-energy systems, both at the industrial and the built environment level.

Partners: VITO, KU Leuven, UMons, ULB, Rescoop Vlaanderen, IDETA, Fluxys, Realto, Viriya Energy
Duration: 3 years

R-E-FLEX – Renewable energy and E-mobility as a FLEXibility service

The R-E-FLEX project creates a scalable and modular charging plaza concept that offers network flexibility that can be used immediately in case of local or supra-local electricity shortages. This network flexibility is created by combining renewable energy production with energy storage via both stationary batteries and batteries of electric cars with smart control and charging stations (Smart and/or V2G). This project includes a feasibility study, a technical development process and the realization of 10 charging plazas in both Flanders and Wallonia as a proof of concept.
Partners: KU Leuven, CoopStroom, CLEF, Ecoob, Klimaan, Klimaatpunt Pajottenland & Zennevallei, ZuidtrAnt, Champs d’Energie, Pajopower, Octave
Duration: 3 years

HEFAISTOS – High tEmperature heat and new Feedstocks for SusTainable zerO emission industry

It is possible to electrify certain high-energy industrial processes, while others require synthetic molecules. The goal of HEFAISTOS is to assess how these transformations can contribute to the balance of the electricity transmission grid. The research will further map the effects on the security of energy supply in Belgium for the import of synthetic molecules that are necessary for part of the possible technological options.
Partners: VITO, APERAM, Engie Crigen, Laborelec, ULB, ICEDD

Een energietransitie voor iedereen

Met deze zes projecten blijft EnergyVille volop de kaart trekken van innovatief onderzoek binnen de energietransitie. Gerrit Jan Schaeffer, General Manager van EnergyVille: “We werken op verschillende vlakken aan de toekomst. Niet enkel met de bovenstaande projecten, maar met al het onderzoek dat we voeren. De komende jaren gaan we verder met gedegen onderzoek, gedragen door een intensieve samenwerking met de industrie en een extra focus op digitale toepassingen en op het opleiden van ‘the right people for the job’. We doen dit bovendien met een open communicatielijn naar de brede bevolking, want de energietransitie is een zaak voor iedereen.”

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