Danish Smart Grid Innovation Connects with Silicon Valley

"Denmark is a leader of clean energy and alternative energy." President Barack Obama, press conference, March 15th, 2011.

Jun 08, 2011, 18:24 ET from Innovation Center Denmark

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Denmark, with nearly twice the variable energy on the grid than any other country, has developed the prototype for a flexible, intelligent electricity system. Behind this transformation are Danish technology companies, investors, system integrators, utilities, and researchers.

Meet these innovators and their US counterparts at the Smart Grid Applied Conference and be exposed to the latest emerging technology proven in the market and tested at scale. Learn about unique development opportunities in Denmark, and find out how the country managed to integrate 34 percent renewables into the grid. A goal California is working towards in 2020.

Smart Grid Applied Conference: June 22-23
SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Avenue Menlo Park, CA 94025

It's no coincidence that Smart Grid Applied takes place in the heart of Silicon Valley, says Camilla Rygaard-Hjalsted, director of Innovation Center Denmark, the organizer of the conference:

"California is to the US what Denmark is to the EU. They both spearhead clean, smart energy solutions influencing developments beyond its borders. Smart Grid Applied taps into the synergy happening when stakeholders from these two pioneering regions get together to collaborate on new business ventures and research opportunities."

A keynote speaker at Smart Grid Applied is Lorie Wigle, General Manager of Intel's Eco-Technology Program:

"To mobilize a vision of more integration and synergy between intelligent renewable energy sources, smart grids, smart buildings, and empowered energy consumers, Intel and its partners are applying the application of technology and open standards to accelerate the global transition to smart energy.  A good example of this direction is the Danish best practices and innovation being demonstrated with great promise by bringing 34 percent renewable energy to their grid," says the Intel manager, one of the three most powerful women in Smart Grid according to Smart Grid Newsletter.

The high penetration of wind power in the electric grid makes Denmark an ideal test bed for optimizing power consumption of intermittent power sources. This is now being demonstrated in several innovative projects and partnerships such as Danish utility DONG Energy's equity participation in California based Project Better Place's franchise in Denmark, the first in Europe. Late 2011, the partners will commercially launch a nationwide network of EV charging and battery swap stations.

"We can now combine the existing electric infrastructure with batteries in electric vehicles to harvest and store wind-generated power when it is in excess supply and have it available for value creating transportation purposes when needed," says Torben V. Holm, consultant with DONG Energy, who will walk the Smart Grid Applied attendants through the business dynamics of this unique joint venture.

2011 also sees the launch of EcoGrid EU, the largest European smart grid demonstration project, which is being implemented on the Danish island of Bornholm, where one in every ten households will participate. By changing load pattern, the households will participate in keeping the power system stable, even though more than 50 percent of power is produced from decentralized and renewable sources.

"It will be a challenge to involve 10 percent of the households in the EcoGrid EU demonstration, as we cannot settle for only households with a special interest in environment and energy, due to the large amount of participants. And after recruitment, we need to change their consumption behavior for a product they are used to use completely at their convenience," says Maja Bendtsen, project leader at the local utility Ostkraft, about the project showcased at Smart Grid Applied.

The rest of Denmark aims to follow the Bornholm example by incorporating 50 percent of electricity from wind by 2025. This is the country's first step towards the ambitious goal of being completely fossil fuel free by 2050.

There is obviously still a huge research effort in front of us before we reach the fossil free society. iPower, a new unique partnership between Danish researchers, companies and developers on one side and researchers from UC Berkeley on the other side, aims at bringing us closer to this goal. The partnership will research some of the crucial aspects of smart grid such as how to intelligently control electricity consuming devices in household and production units, methods to operate a grid with flexible electricity production, and based on these findings develop business cases to support the key players in the field.

At the conference, iPower leader Anders Troi will introduce this new 25 million USD joint project.

Smart Grid Applied will feature the following topics through keynotes, showcases and panel discussions:

  • Integration of renewable electricity generation
  • Decentralization of the electricity grid
  • Virtual power plants
  • Demand response and flexible demand
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure
  • Home & building energy management
  • Micro Grids

SOURCE Innovation Center Denmark