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DELTA News

What is DELTA?

DELTA is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 Research project. It is developing new innovations, powered by blockchain technology, to increase demand response participation across Europe.

Demand response is a service offered by many electricity grid operators to balance supply and demand on the grid. For example, on a very hot day, there will be more demand for electricity as more air conditioners and fans are in operation.

When people use more energy (demand) than the grid is generating (supply), we experience blackouts. To avoid this scenario, grid operators typically have two options:

  1. Build enough power plants to make sure they can meet the very highest levels of energy demand, even if that’s only for a couple hours throughout the year.
  2. Use Demand Response

Power plants are expensive; therefore, demand response is a much more efficient and effective way to manage everyone’s energy needs.

Grid operators will ask large power users to use less energy during those peak hours, and participants get paid for doing it. We avoid blackouts by using less (reducing demand). Grid operators spend less on demand response than they would on a power plant, and participants, which are typically large-scale power users, enjoy a new revenue stream. It’s a win-win situation.Learn more

But with renewable energy technology becoming cheaper and more readily available, the rise of the small to medium scale prosumer is upon us. Someone who both consumes and produces energy can be categorised as a prosumer – for example a household which installs a solar panel or a factory which constructs a wind turbine. Smart and efficient technology are central to prosumers being active players in the energy market, especially when community energy schemes and small to medium sized enterprises are gathered together in order to better contribute to the energy grid.

DELTA is developing new blockchain technology which will allow small to medium sized prosumers to participate in demand response. How? Aggregators are energy businesses that seek to group consumers or prosumers together in order to respond effectively to demand on the grid and also get the best deal for the consumers/prosumers in their portfolio.

At the moment, it is a lot easier for aggregators to work with large scale prosumers and consumers. It is difficult for them to work with small to medium scale prosumers/consumers for example households. But DELTA’s new blockchain technology aims to make this process easier and more efficient for aggregators, unlocking the demand response potential across Europe.

DELTA is building a framework for the integration of small to medium prosumers in the electricity network to facilitate their participation in demand response service provision.

This technology will allow aggregators to manage their small and medium scale prosumer and consumer portfolios more efficiently. It will also give consumers more control over their energy usage.

The DELTA consortium is made up of 10 partner organisations from eight countries across Europe: Greece, Cyprus, UK, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Norway, and Ireland. Click here for more information on our expert partners.

The below explainer image is interactive. Hover over the different areas to learn more about the DELTA project.

DELTA Explained

Delta Infographic Explainer
The Grid Aggregator Delta Virtual Node Delta Virtual Node Residential Node Commercial / industrial Node

The Grid

·        Extreme or unexpected weather can put a strain on our electricity grids. When demand for power dramatically increases, for example during a heatwave, utility companies often turn to their reserve power stations to make up what is required to satisfy the needs of the grid. An alternative to this approach is using demand response, whereby consumers are incentivized to reduce or shift their energy usage when the grid in under pressure to meet demand.

Aggregator

·       An energy aggregator can play a vital role in managing energy usage in a demand response setting. Aggregators can manage the consumption of their customers by providing any energy flexibility to the grid when it is needed most. The potential for aggregators to work with small and medium scale consumers and prosumers has yet to be fully realized, with aggregators facing complex and resource-heavy tasks when trying to work with customers at this level. Unleashing the potential of small and medium scale prosumers around Europe is a key objective of DELTA.

Delta Virtual Node

·        The DELTA Virtual Node (DVN) will provide aggregators with the technology needed to efficiently manage their portfolios of small and medium scale consumers and prosumers. The DVN, a software suite powered by a secure permissioned blockchain, will have the ability to group consumers and prosumers together based on their energy consumption characteristics. These consumers and prosumers do not have to be geographically linked, but will be placed in a particular node based on the data gathered. This data will be both real-time and historical, allowing aggregators to accurately forecast the energy flexibility they can offer the grid when demand is high.

Fog-enabled Intelligent Device

·       The Fog-enabled Intelligent Device (FEID) is the piece of equipment placed in homes and businesses which will gather energy data and transmit it to the DVN. The FEID is safe secure and thanks to blockchain technology being employed, will automatically receive demand response signals in the form of smart contracts.

Delta Virtual Node

·        ·        The DELTA Virtual Node (DVN) will provide aggregators with the technology needed to efficiently manage their portfolios of small and medium scale consumers and prosumers. The DVN, a software suite powered by a secure permissioned blockchain, will have the ability to group consumers and prosumers together based on their energy consumption characteristics. These consumers and prosumers do not have to be geographically linked, but will be placed in a particular node based on the data gathered. This data will be both real-time and historical, allowing aggregators to accurately forecast the energy flexibility they can offer the grid when demand is high.

Fog-enabled Intelligent Device

·       The Fog-enabled Intelligent Device (FEID) is the piece of equipment placed in homes and businesses which will gather energy data and transmit it to the DVN. The FEID is safe secure and thanks to blockchain technology being employed, will automatically receive demand response signals in the form of smart contracts.

Residential Node

·        The DVN and FEID can be configured for use in a residential setting. Consumers may have renewable energy installed and be in a position to give their flexibility to the grid. Or they may want to see more renewable energy on the grid while receiving financial incentive for altering their energy consumption patterns. 

Commercial / industrial Node

·       Businesses or industrial units can more efficiently manage their energy consumption by using the DELTA system. For example a factory which may operate  more during the night to meet its logistics objectives can curtail day-time usage and offer the flexibility to the grid via the aggregator.

Project Partners

DELTA Project Timeline and Phases

Delta Project Timeline