PowerMatching City honoured as a top sustainable solution at Rio+20

The world’s first total-concept smart grid deployment project selected for prestigious list of sustainable solutions

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, sustainability legend Gro Harlem Brundtland, Media guru and philanthropist Ted Turner, and 150 VIP guests celebrated the first concrete outcome at Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: The launch of Sustainia100. Sustainia is proud to announce that PowerMatching City, the world’s first total-concept smart grid deployment project, has been chosen for this prestigious list of solutions.

PowerMatching City, the first real-life smart grid community in the world
PowerMatching City – a live smart grid project involving 25 households in the Hoogkerk district in the Northern part of the Netherlands – has demonstrated that it is possible to create a smart grid with a corresponding market model, using existing technologies.

The system enables consumers to freely exchange electricity and keeps the comfort level up to par. Being the first real-life smart grid community in the world and having delivered the world’s first results from a total-concept smart grid deployment project, PowerMatching City is playing an important role in the development of smart grids and the transition towards a sustainable energy system. 25 homes were connected with each other as part of the trial and equipped with micro combined heat and power systems (High Efficiency boilers), hybrid heat pumps, smart meters, PV panels, charging stations for electric vehicles and other smart household appliances. These homes collectively constitute a smart energy system.

The project is conducted by distribution system operator Enexis, energy company Essent, gas infrastructure company Gasunie, system integrator ICT Automatisering and knowledge institute TNO, led by energy consulting and testing & certification firm DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability. Knowledge partners of PowerMatching City are Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.

In view of the successful results, the project has been continued and expanded. This follow-up phase is focusing more on the effects of the expansion (from 25 to approximately 70 households), consumer involvement (via an interactive interface) and the effect of the introduction of real-life propositions to the customer, developed by the energy company.

Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action: “By 2030, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water. These figures show that continuing with business as usual is clearly not an option. It would be very costly in economic, environmental and human terms. This is why we need a more sustainable growth model that captures the value of a country’s natural wealth, of a clean environment, of social cohesion. Sustainia shows that many of the solutions are already there.”

Frits Bliek, programme coordinator PowerMatching City: “With the share of renewable energy going up strongly over the next decades, the rising demand for electricity, and consumers who are increasingly providing in their own energy supply, it is evident that smart grids will have an essential position in our future energy system. PowerMatching City plays a pioneering role in the development of smart grids and in the transition towards a sustainable energy system. We are therefore very proud that our project has been selected for this prestigious list of sustainable solutions. It is a strong recognition for all the work the partners have together realized.”

Gathered from 56 countries spread over six continents, Sustainia100 is a complete guide to innovative and scalable solutions instrumental in creating sustainable societies. Building on ready and available solutions only, Sustainia100 is as a tangible tool for sustainability professionals – from politicians to CEOs- dedicated to create desirable and sustainable societies.

Individually, the solutions represent sustainable innovation in areas such as city planning, energy, fashion, water and waste management, high-tech and transportation. Collectively, they provide a guide of the building blocks available for transforming our societies.

Sustainia100 is a cornerstone in Sustainia. A construction site for the desirable society we could live in if we implemented ready and available solutions. Developed by world-leading companies, organizations and experts in close collaboration with UN Global Compact and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s initiative Regions20, Sustainia is the first holistic introduction to the attractive sustainable future.

Sustainia100 solutions are nominees for the Sustainia Award, which honors outstanding performance within sustainability. The winner will be announced at a ceremony later this year in Copenhagen.

About Rio+20
At the Rio+20 Conference, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) is being organized in pursuance of General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236), and takes place in Brazil on 20-22 June 2012 to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg. The Rio+20 Conference is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives. The Conference will result in a focused political document.

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