Inno Indigo project "StabilizE" started in November 2014 after some wait for receiving the funding decisions for all participating countries. The partners come from India, Germany, Portugal and Finland.
The project takes a joint step on utilizing ICT for smart grid monitoring and control, thus enabling more stable distribution networks. The main drivers are very similar across all countries, including introduction of renewable energy resources, increasing amount of electric vehicles, need of improving service reliability as well as overall activation of individual customers. Although some of these start to sound a bit cliché, they are at the moment more current than ever. So the objectives are shared and the workplan has been easy to put up and implement around them.
However, the starting points differ a lot and this has been observed during the early steps of the project. Let's have a simple example. Finland has taken strong actions on improving the service reliability. According to new requirements, the yearly sum of service interruptions on city areas must not exceed 6 hours and on rural areas 36 hours. This will be required by 2028. Meanwhile, India has defined a Smart Grid Vision and Roadmap, which defines the actions for improving service reliability; electricity should be available for all for 8 hours/day by 2017 and 12 hours/day by 2022. 24/7 supply is in further actions, however not yet scheduled.
This means, by next decade the finnish customer should have a maximum of 36 hours without electricity in a year, whereas the indian customer should have minimum of 12 hours of electricity in a day. The gap is just enormous.
Another similar comparison can be made in distribution network losses. Whereas a typical finnish average has been around 3.5 % of transferred energy, the Indian Roadmap seeks for losses below 15 % by 2017 and below 10 % by 2027. Again, an enormous gap.
The idea here is by no means confrontation between these countries and their situations. We must keep in mind that Finland is a real "model student" in these matters. But the idea is to give some hint on the starting positions for a project seeking to improve service reliability and efficiency. There are also other distinguishing factors, for instance use of solar power which is more or less inherent in all partner countries expect Finland.
But as said, the drivers are common and also the means are very much the same. StabilizE relies on improving network automation, widely exploiting measurements available, utilizing small-scale generation or storage units, building local microgrids and so on. Above all, intelligence is always similar and can be localized to work in all circumstances.
Given these foundations, StabilizE has already been an experience for all on board. Already at this point, everyone has learned a lot from each other. Joint efforts towards common goals continue.
Text: Jarmo Partanen