European project NETfficient

Implementing the future of smart energy storage and management on the island of Borkum in Germany

Between 01/2015 and 12/2018 the project NETfficient has implemented “Energy and economic efficiency for today’s smart communities through integrated multi storage technologies” on the German island of Borkum in the North Sea. Due to project activities, the portion of renewable energies to cover the energy demand have increased, thus contributing to the goal of self-sufficiency for the island.

NETfficient tackled one of the most pressing challenges of the energy market: The availability of renewable energies is not the only problem. It is energy storage and distribution methods which address the time-shift between availability of renewable resources and demand peaks.

The project included the development of a sustainable energy management systems, integrating smart electric storage and enhanced distribution technologies for the electric grid of the island. Its main objective was to provide solutions for more efficient use of the available sources of renewable energies and to help to reduce carbon emissions as well as dependency on fossil fuels.

Innovative technologies

The project demonstrated innovative local storage technologies in the island’s grid and furthermore developed a strategy to deal with energy generation as well as consumption by the end-users, the project addressed all levels of the energy value chain, involving a wide range of stakeholder groups, municipalities and also citizens.

Strong market orientation

Based on a defined exploitation strategy, NETfficient pursued strong market orientation reflected in the various energy demand scenarios. The technologies were in homes, public buildings and also for street lighting. Further exploitation and adoption of the project achievements have been explored through valid business models, thus lowering the market barriers for small scale local storage of energy.

NETfficient is supported under the “Societal Challenge of Low Carbon Energy" within the European Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020. The European Commission is co-funding the project with nearly 9 million €. The consortium is composed of 13 partners including renowned research organisations, large enterprises, SMEs and municipalities from 7 European countries.

Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum assisted the Spanish coordinator Ayesa with administrative and financial project management. As project partner it was responsible for dissemination, exploitation and communication of project results.

Project duration: 01/2015 – 12/2018

Countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Sweden

  • The NETfficient Handbook: Aggregated Energy Storage for Smarter Communities
    Grid Integration of Distributed Energy Storage Using an Aggregation Platform - Autoren: Andrea Immendörfer, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum (Lead Author), Alicia Arce, Santiago Blanco Polo, Thomas Erge, Jutta Hildenbrand, Raphael Hollinger, Annette C. Hurst, Angel J. Jiménez Pérez, Luca Massidda, Fernando Usero Fuentes, ISBN 978-3-95663-200-6, Steinbeis Edition Stuttgart 2018 pdf (3 MB)