interoperabilitySmart Energydigitalisationstandardization

Joining forces to enable digitalisation and interoperability of smart energy systems

The digitalisation of energy systems is an important requirement to enable the energy transition – hosting a high share of renewables energy sources, cooperating across sectors and across borders, developing new usages such as e-mobilty – but also to support new approaches such as local energy communities, microgrids, …

Olivier Genest, Trialog
July 16, 2021

To tackle this challenge, InterConnect not only cooperates within its consortium, but also teams up with worldwide actors through several initiatives.


BRIDGE: gathering EU smart grid innovation projects

BRIDGE is a EU initiative launched by the European Commission in 2016 to foster collaboration and to consolidate results between the research & innovation projects in the area of smart grids, energy storage, islands and digitalisation of the energy system funded under the Horizon 2020 program.


Since its creation, it has gathered 80+ projects involving 700+ organisations from 38 countries for a total EU funding of 750+ M€. It is structured around 4 working groups: Business Models, Regulation, Customer & citizen engagement and Data Management.


InterConnect has appointed experts to these four working groups. In particular, Trialog, one of InterConnect’s partners, is chairing the Data Management WG, which focuses on data exchange, cybersecurity and interoperability.


In 2021, the Data Management WG has developed a EU data exchange reference architecture, mapped to the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM), that aims to be used by existing and future projects to enable cross-domain and cross-border interoperability (see figure below). InterConnect has contributed based on WP2 results, in particular its Smart Home/Building and Smart Energy Refence Architecture (SHBERA).


Figure: BRIDGE EU Data Exchange Reference Architecture (source)





OPEN-DEI: Internet of Things for energy and beyond

OPEN-DEI is a coordination and support action funded by the European Commission to align reference architectures, open platforms and large scale pilots from several sectors: energy, agriculture, manufacturing and health.


Within the energy vertical, it is structured around 4 working groups: Use-cases explorer, Shared infrastructures, Linking eco-systems and Technical topics. InterConnect, through its partner EEBus, is leading the WG on use-cases: based on the methodology developed in WP1, the use-cases from the seven participating projects have been described and incorporated in a common booklet.


In addition, InterConnect has contributed to a position paper on Design principles for Data Spaces, defining key fundamentals such as building blocks, governance and business models, to enable building data spaces and making them work in a unified way.


SmartBuilt4EU: a community for smart building innovation

SmartBuilt4EU is a EU project building a community on smart buildings innovation. In this initiative, smart buildings are considered not only to offer services to its users, but also to offer services (such as flexibility) to power grids.


InterConnect being a key project on smart building interoperability, two of its partners have been approached by SmartBuilt4EU to chair some of its task forces:

  • INESC TEC is chairing the 1st topic of TF2 “Efficient building operation”, focusing on interoperability among building components and systems.
  • Trialog is chairing the 1st topic of TF3 “Interaction with the external environment”, investigating smart solutions and data interoperability to provide flexibility services to the electricity grid.

For these two topics, draft white papers have been published and a large consultation has been launched during Summer 2021 to collect feedback and additional contributions.


IEC SyC Smart Energy: building worldwide standards

To complement these contributions to the EU R&I ecosystem, InterConnect is contributing to the IEC System Committee (SyC) on Smart Energy.


The purpose of this SyC is provide systems level standardization, coordination and guidance in the areas of Smart Grid and Smart Energy (including interaction in the areas of Heat and Gas). During the last years, this SyC has developed several reference standards such as IEC 62559-2 “Use-case methodology” and IEC TS 63200 “SGAM Smart Energy Grid Reference Architecture”, which are both used by most of the worldwide smart grid innovation projects, in particulier in Europe.


Trialog is co-Convenor of JWG3 “Smart Energy Roadmap”, which jointly belongs to IEC SyC Smart Energy and ISO/IEC JTC1/SC41 “Internet of Things”. One of the JWG3 objectives is to introduce IoT concepts into the smart energy domain, which is fully aligned with InterConnect’s ambition.


This overview of the initiatives to which InterConnect is contributing at both EU and worldwide levels demonstrates its ambition to bring together the Internet of Things, smart grid, smart home and smart building worlds to enable the digitalisation and the interoperability of smart energy systems. These actions also allow InterConnect to have a strong impact not only today but also beyond the end of the project.

Next article

With energy usage rising more than ever, the need for efficient energy management grows accordingly. The unprecedented pandemic of Covid-19 has decelerated worldwide energy consumption, but deeper changes are still needed to achieve 2030, 2040 and 2050 decarbonization goals and drive the development of new levels of interconnection, flexibility and decentralization. That is where InterConnect comes in.

Jonas Lamothe, SENSINOV
May 25, 2021