interoperabilityEnergy Managementflexibility managementSAREF4ENERSPINE

Interoperability as a requirement

Energy demand and production must be harmonized by use of the devices’ flexibility, automized financial benefits on the demand and production side and grid connectivity.

Ralph-Ino Prümm
March 9, 2020

Through the CO2 saving goals of the European Union the energy transition needs to come up to speed: on the one hand the power generation will change to volatile energy sources and on the other hand the mobility or heating transition will add significant energy demands to buildings. Adding some more complexity to this – the classical consumers will change to prosumers and both producers, consumers and all actors in between want to benefit from new energy services. The Interconnect project started in October 2019 will demonstrate an interoperable energy eco system with pilots in 7 different countries.


How does the solution look like? Energy demand and production must be harmonized by use of the devices’ flexibility, automized financial benefits on the demand/ production side (e.g. charge the electric vehicle at another time but at no or less costs) and grid connectivity. Manufacturer and service provider independent platforms offer energy or flexibility from e.g. aggregated residential buildings or any kind of energy services. All this becomes true through connectivity which enables the exchange of information from grid to device level.


In working package 1 (WP1) of the H2020 interconnect project the use cases, business models and services will be defined. Through use cases and its’ scenarios, the features and corresponding data points of the new energy landscape will be developed. Starting from the individual personas and their user experience the personal motivations and barriers are analyzed to make sure the expected values will be delivered to the involved actors. In the next step user stories are developed which needs to be braked down to use cases and scenarios. To make sure all use cases will be built from modular functions all use cases will be defined by use case functions (UCF). From there the interoperable ontology SAREF4ENER is developed.


An important role for the interoperable connectivity in tomorrows’ energy eco system is the SAREF4ENER based on the basic ontology SAREF. Through the semantic ontology, devices using different standards or languages such as SPINE may be exchange data interoperable at all levels of the system. SAREF is a “Smart Appliances REFerence Ontology” was initiated by the European Commission in 2012. SAREF4ENER, the ontology for energy management enables real interoperability to all pilots.


Use Case deliver certain values to the respective actors. Based on the defined values new business models will be developed.

In the first design thinking workshop in Milan more than 180 user stories have been collected. E.g. from Jean Dupont who is interested in joining a citizen energy community to share his energy from renewable technologies with the community and benefit from others community members’ energy or the aggregation services. The next workshops in


– Lisbon for grid centered user stories/cases,
– Porto and Toulon for comfort, responsibility and convenience values and corresponding user stories/cases


will complete the definition phase. Once the user stories are sorted and selected the user stories needs to be translated into use cases. The stock of use cases will be mapped to the several pilots in 7 countries to exactly define the features and enable measurement of the efficiency. As well the use cases represent the basis for the development of the reference architecture in WP2.

WP1 is led by EEBUS, YNCREA Mediterranee, Trialog and Energias de Portugal.


The goal is to complete WP1 within 18 months of the project start. So far there is good progress in the definition phase. Beside others the alignment of the collected user stories or defined use cases will be an interesting part in WP1. To avoid multiple solutions for almost similar use cases there will be a harmonization process to deliver an excellent base for an efficient energy eco system design.

Next article

Mission: Define an Interoperable Smart Home Smart Energy Reference Architecture that enables a level playing field and open ecosystem for new services.

Joost Laarakkers
February 7, 2020