The challenge

“Flanders and Europe are preparing for a future with renewable energy and a transition to the higher use of electrically-powered applications such as electric vehicles and heat pumps . To make optimal use of these new applications, the energy network must adapt. Our energy networks must become more intelligent so they can respond flexibly to supply and demand. Innovative ways to store renewable energy must be found in order to absorb temporary surpluses and shortages.

"Environmental and climate challenges, and the world's growing population, mean that cities must use their energy more intelligently. There are many urban test sites where experiments are being conducted with local intelligent energy networks (smart grids) or district heating. These can lead the way to urban sustainability.”

VITO/EnergyVille's role

“VITO has been investing for years in research into smart grids and urban sustainability. Since 2012, we have joined forces with KU Leuven and imec under the name 'EnergyVille - Energy for an urban setting'. Within this consortium, we, as an independent partner, are providing expertise on energy and sustainable urban development to industry and governments.

With respect to the development of new technology, our focus is on:

  • the storage of electrical energy;
  • thermal energy;
  • interoperability between the various components of the energy system;
  • the physical integration of renewable energy.

New to the approach taken by EnergyVille is that we have supplemented this technological foundation with research into the energy system and the urban context. We formulate recommendations to policy-makers, solve sustainability and economic issues, devise new business models and involve stakeholders in developing a vision. The goal: to use  valuable technology via new energy concepts that can make a real difference in the society of the future.”

Smart technology makes renewable energy more cost-effective.
Leen Govaerts and Bert Gysen
Unit Manager Smart Energy & Built Environment and Unit Manager Technology