Model regions and regional pilot projects

Improved networking of decentralised energy producers and consumers

Meregio pilot project in Freiamt/Ettenheim and Göppingen
In the future, it will become increasingly important to adapt the energy consumption of volatile energy production. However, will individuals change their behaviour in this sense? This topic was the focus of the four-year MeRegio (Minimum Emission Region) pilot project, which was completed at the end of November 2012. Decentralised energy producers and consumers were linked through information and communication technologies as new approaches for an energy market of the future were developed.

The willingness of the test customers to transfer their electricity consumption could be sustainably activated by the mechanisms and technologies which were used. This is how load shifts of up to 20% per hour – with an average ranging from 7 to 15% – were measured. In addition to testing the load shifts through price signals, MeRegio also tested the use of intelligent household appliances and electricity storage devices. The load flexibility can also be used to remedy grid bottlenecks. The MeRegio project examined which incentives are accepted by customers and the potential that exists for them to transfer their own electricity consumption. Over the past years, the customers tested their daily consumption patterns while one question loomed: Is it possible to shift daily activities such as washing clothes to periods when there is typically more energy available, i.e. at night or when it is windy? For this purpose, the approximately 1,000 residential and commercial customers in Freiamt/Ettenheim and the Göppingen region were linked to a “network of the future”: they received the MeRegio Cockpit, an intelligent electricity meter developed by EnBW, an electricity traffic light (called “Stromampel”) as well as special network connections. The intelligent electricity meter was the central communication device between the consumption point and the energy provider. Customers used the Stromampel to access information about the development of electricity prices over the next 24 hours: red signalled a high electricity price, yellow indicated an average tariff and green represented a cheap rate. Thanks to the dynamic tariff, electricity cost the test households less during the low-consumption periods than during high-consumption periods. The feedback from the participants was extremely positive. In addition to politics and industry, it is the customers and their consumption patterns who significantly influence the turnaround in energy policy. The MeRegio project has created a solid foundation of knowledge which can be further built upon. MeRegio was supported by BMWi within the framework of the E-Energy program.

contact details/company:
EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG
Forschung und Innovation
Durlacher Allee 93
76131 Karlsruhe

contact person:
Dipl.-Ing. Hellmuth Frey