Milan and Rome, Italy --- (METERING.COM) --- June 10, 2010 - The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) has launched its smart grid program as one of its first four joint research programs (JPs).

The Joint Program on Smart Grids will investigate smart grid areas that are of common interest to participants. To date 13 research organizations from 10 countries are participating in the JP, with a commitment of at least 640 person-months per year, and others are expected to join in the future.

The EERA is an alliance of leading European research institutes that are seeking to support the European Commission’s Strategic Energy Technologies Plan (SET-PLAN) through the implementation of the JPs to pool and integrate their activities and resources and thereby maximize their complementarities and synergies.

The initial focus of the smart grid JP will be on four areas, namely network operation, focusing on the development of a “primary” control in the presence of high penetration of distributed energy resources; energy management, with a focus on optimization in the presence of distributed energy resources; information and control system interoperability; and electrical storage technologies.

The first deliverables, due in April 2011, focus on developing and choosing effective new control structures, emergency situations and the role of microgrids, energy management simulation and analysis models, a comparison of system interoperability in the U.S. and Europe, and a report on existing and future promising energy storage technologies.

The network operation sub-program will be led by the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN), the energy management sub-program by RISØ DTU (Denmark), control system interoperability by VITO (Belgium), and electrical storage technologies by the Technical Research Center of Finland (VTT).

Other participants are ERSE Spa (Italy), ENEA (Italy), Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy & Energy Systems Technology (IWES, Germany), EC Joint Research Center Institute for Energy (JRC-IE, Netherlands), LABEIN TECNALIA (Spain), LABOROLEC (Belgium), SINTEF (Norway) and TUBITAK (Turkey).

The coordinators of the JP are Luciano Martini from ERSE and Giorgio Graditi from ENEA.

The SET-PLAN is aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of cost effective low carbon technologies in Europe.

Other JPs launched by the EERA are on geothermal, photovoltaics and wind energy, while others under development include biofuels, carbon capture and storage, concentrated solar power, marine energy, and materials for nuclear.