EU projects – Technology Scouting – Business Innovation

SABINA delivered a set of modular solutions to help reduce buildings and districts carbon emissions as well as overall operating costs

SABINA was an EU funded H2020 research and innovation project that aimed to develop new technology along with financial models that would connect, control and actively manage thermal and electric networks using generation and storage assets in order to exploit synergies between electrical requirements and the thermal inertia of buildings, whilst allowing aggregators to provide flexibility and balancing services to the grid. SABINA aimed to maximise the usage of variable renewable energy sources by converting excess electrical energy to heat or cold and storing it using the thermal inertia of buildings. Provision for aggregation at district level were provided to maximise the effect of SABINA. SABINA lasted for 4 year and finished in October 2020 with AMIRES as a partner responsible for project management and dissemination.

A set of critical factors are required to enable deployment of any new technology focussed on energy and carbon reduction in any market. While any technology may be proven in test environments deployment in real word settings can often be subject to other outside influences that should be reviewed prior to attempting deployment. Policies already exist in a number of member states that supports the introduction of innovative new technologies to deliver on a common EU carbon target. The interplay between the market, technology development and policymaking align itself well to the wider deployment of SABINA either as a technology supporting market and policy ambition or as a seed for transformative change in countries seeking to scale up ambition in carbon reduction. As part of our work on SABINA the partners assessed which markets in EU member states were already undertaking a reasonable level of demand side response at a national strategic level. Based on IEA data the findings demonstrate that a large proportion of the EU would be viable for SABINA deployment on the basis that flexibility and aggregation markets either already exist or are ramping up activity.

As the SABINA system relies on critical and regular data streams and the ability for swift response to them much of the successful deployment of the system will be dependent on the maturity of smart grids within any EU member state. The viability of SABINA is dependent on a number of key Net Zero transitions within any host member state. The challenge to enable the switch over from gas to electricity for our heating brings a number of critical risks in supply and demand of energy, placing greater pressure on our national energy infrastructure and requiring low and zero carbon generation to provide demand in a way that reduces our contribution to climate change. In order to provide the additional demand required to support the electrification of heating and vehicles in a sustainable way significantly higher levels of renewable deployment is needed.

Coupled with an increase in overall demand it will be important to develop technologies that can support swift demand side response, much greater flexibility in smart energy systems and digitalisation of operational control – SABINA can play a leading role in supporting this.

More information related to SABINA is available here.