On November 17 Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation in Sweden, attended the launch of the Smart Energy City Research Program. A unique research program where 155 families are now moving into smart apartments where they will be able to see and control their energy use in real time. Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm will conduct research on the findings. The goal is to develop smart grids for better use of renewable energy sources and to develop energy-smart homes where residents can influence their energy consumption.

The Minister took part in the event to launch the project at Stockholm Royal Seaport in Norra Djurgårdsstaden, along with representatives from the program stakeholders. Behind the research program is a collaboration between ABB, Electrolux, Ellevio, Ericsson and Fortum, City of Stockholm and Swedish Energy Agency.

“Developing the new ICT solutions is a lot about new business models and co-operations with others. This is what the new industry transformation is all about. To be able to drive development and result outside of our traditional organisational borders in ever changing eco systems and business models. By working together in this pilot, we are learning to how to manage in this transformation.”, says Charlotta Sund, Head of Customer Group Industry and Society at Ericsson.

The energy industry is the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of all CO2 emissions comes from urban areas worldwide. Cities are key to the solution of the climate challenge. ICT and Internet of things is becoming a key enabler the reduce the greenhouse gas emission. Ericsson believes that we can reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the world by 2030 by 15% by making things smarter with ICT. This pilot in Stockholm Royal Seaport is it firsts of its kind in the world proving the potential that ICT has in enabling flexible demand based on people’s willingness to change and contribute.

The idea is to use IoT based home energy management services (HEMS) to enable the flexible demand for electricity. The more flexible the demand of electricity is, the more potential we have to replace plannable energy resources like nuclear, coal and gas with intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind to generate our electricity. The scientific research is looking at the potential of manual and semi-automated HEMS and also what drives consumers to change behavior. In this project we are evaluating the driver to save money and the driver to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The program is also deploying smart grid technologies to increase the availability of the power infrastructure. Five secondary substations have been equipped with smart grid devices to be monitored and semi-automated to reduce the frequency of outages as well also reduce duration and impact of outages.

“Developing the new ICT solutions is a lot about new business models and co-operations with others. This is what the new industry transformation is all about. To be able to drive development and result outside of our traditional organizational borders in ever changing eco systems and business models. By working together in this pilot, we are learning to how to manage in this transformation.”, says Charlotta Sund, Head of Customer Group Industry and Society at Ericsson.

Families have already started moving into the area ahead of the official start of the research effort, which will begin on January 1, 2017 and run for the remainder of next year.