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Energy Management on the Neighbourhood Level

In Europe, the transition to sustainable energy supply and the emergence of smart grids are in progress. The deployment of distributed Renewable Energy Sources (RES) for the energy supply for buildings and residential areas has been increasing significantly in recent years. Many people living in residential areas have already begun to produce electricity locally, e. g., by installing photovoltaic panels on the roofs of their houses. Their role has thus evolved from being only consumers of energy to becoming prosumers, not only consuming but also producing energy.

At high RES penetration, in times of low renewable energy production, energy shortages can occur. Whereas in times of high wind or PV power production, electricity production rates may even exceed those of consumption. Without proper energy management, grid instabilities can occur, and generated energy may be lost. Automation of low voltage distribution grids is one of the steps towards smart grids and successful integration of RES. Bidirectional energy management systems can, for instance, help to cope with the mentioned challenges by the automated exploitation of load shifting or virtual storage potentials. Additionally, bidirectional data communication allows smart meters to send information on current electricity prices to the end-user. In this way, the end-user obtains the opportunity to manually maintain energy consumption in a cost effective and grid supporting way.consumer-prosumer