PowerMatching City smart grid project chosen as sustainable living solution at Rio+20 summit

Sustainia Sustainia

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, sustainability leader Gro Harlem Brundtland, media billionaire and philanthropist Ted Turner, and 150 VIP guests celebrated success for PowerMatching City at Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, the launch of Sustainia100. PowerMatching City, the world’s first “total-concept smart grid deployment project,” has been chosen for a list of sustainable living solutions.

PowerMatching City – a live smart grid project involving 25 households in the Hoogkerk region of the Netherlands – has demonstrated that it is possible to create a smart grid with a corresponding market model, using existing technologies. The system enables consumers to freely exchange electricity and keeps the comfort level up to par.

Being the first real-life smart grid community in the world and having delivered the world’s first results from a total-concept smart grid deployment project, PowerMatching City is recognised as playing an important role in the development of smart grids and the transition towards a sustainable energy system. In the trial 25 homes were connected with each other and equipped with micro combined heat and power systems (High Efficiency boilers), hybrid heat pumps, smart meters, PV panels, charging stations for electric vehicles and other smart household appliances. These homes collectively constitute a smart energy system.

The project is being conducted by distribution system operator Enexis, energy company Essent, gas infrastructure company Gasunie, system integrator ICT Automatisering and knowledge institute TNO, led by energy consulting and testing & certification firm DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability. PowerMatching City’s knowledge partners are Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.

In view of the successful results, the project has been continued and expanded. This follow-up phase is focusing more on the effects of the expansion (from 25 to approximately 70 households), consumer involvement (via an interactive interface) and the effect of the introduction of real-life propositions to the customer, developed by the energy company.

Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: “By 2030, the world will need at least 50% more food, 45% more energy and 30% more water. These figures show that continuing with business as usual is clearly not an option. It would be very costly in economic, environmental and human terms. This is why we need a more sustainable growth model that captures the value of a country’s natural wealth, of a clean environment, of social cohesion. Sustainia shows that many of the solutions are already there.”

Frits Bliek, programme coordinator at PowerMatching City, added: “With the share of renewable energy going up strongly over the next decades, the rising demand for electricity, and consumers who are increasingly providing their own energy supply, it is evident that smart grids will have an essential position in our future energy system. PowerMatching City plays a pioneering role in the development of smart grids and in the transition towards a sustainable energy system. We are, therefore, very proud that our project has been selected for this prestigious list of sustainable solutions. It is a strong recognition for all the work the partners have together realised.”

Gathered from 56 countries spread over six continents, Sustainia100 is a complete guide to innovative and scalable solutions instrumental in creating sustainable societies. Building on ready and available solutions only, Sustainia100 is as a tangible tool for sustainability professionals – from politicians to CEOs – dedicated to create desirable and sustainable societies. Individually, the solutions represent sustainable innovation in areas such as city planning, energy, fashion, water and waste management, high-tech and transportation. Collectively, they provide a guide of the building blocks available for transforming our societies.

Sustainia100 is said to be a cornerstone of Sustainia, a construction site for the desirable society we could live in if we implemented ready and available solutions. Developed by world-leading companies, organisations and experts in close collaboration with UN Global Compact and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiative Regions20, Sustainia is the first holistic introduction to the attractive sustainable future. Sustainia100 solutions are nominees for the Sustainia Award, which honours outstanding performance within sustainability. The winner will be announced at a ceremony later this year in Copenhagen.

At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other groups, came together to try to reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) was organised in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236), and took place in Brazil from June 20-22, 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

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