Fortum - Smart grids enable sustainable urban living
In the Solar Economy the energy system will be efficient and flexible. The energy production will be based on renewable energy sources, and the energy will be produced both in centralised and in distributed manner. The development of Smart grids is a key in transition towards the Solar Economy.
Fortum is heading a research project called Urban Smart Grid in the new sustainable city district Stockholm Royal Seaport. The development of smart grids is one of the things we consider to be both necessary and an important enabler for making energy production more sustainable.
Today's energy system is based on central production that distributes energy to all the consumers. In the future smart grids will enable energy to flow through the system in all directions meaning that it will be possible to use energy in a much more efficient way. In the Solar Economy the customers will become an active part of the energy system. The consumers will be able to better track and adjust their electricity usage and even produce their own energy.
Fortum's project will test a system containing active houses where the residents will be able to take control of their consumption through smart displays. They will also receive signals telling them when electricity is most abundant and therefore the cheapest, and when the environmental impact of the electricity is the lowest. The grid will also be developed into a more secure grid and the harbor area will be electrified so that there will be no emissions from the cruise ships as they lie at the docks.
The project is headed by Fortum, together with a number of important partners both from the private and public sector as well as from the academic world. The system is not only about technology but will also involve an adaptation to new market rules and new ways for people to live their everyday lives. One of the most important areas is how to get technology to work together with people in combination with new market models.