Virtual Power Plant
6th March 2019
Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture Timis (CCIAT)
companies - soon to be revealed
Universitatea Politehnica Timisoara
Timis County Energy Management Association
Molnar Ovidiu Lucian
AGENȚIA NAȚIONALĂ PENTRU ÎMBUNĂTĂȚIRI FUNCIARE
Business Development Manager
2.3 MW equivalent
Ms. Cristina Adriana BADULESCU
Mr. Marian-Constantin VASILE
Virtual Power Plant ProgramTM
Building to avoid, together
A new, UN supported, and EU awarded international sustainability initiative, the Virtual Power Plant Program is setting new perspective for local companies and stakeholders in Timis region, to tackle the challenges of climate change, and award active partners for achieving quantifiable results in terms of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The program is built on two principles: first, the cheapest and greenest energy is the one that does not need to be produced, and second, little and often fills the purse.
After only 6 months of operation, the program is already well established in Timis with ongoing support from Climate-KIC. Its local operator, the CCIAT, in close partnership with the program owner, MI6 has set up a local Advisory Board, launched its application schemes and as a result, it has achieved to engage 19 companies in the Timis region. These companies collected the equivalent of a 2,4MW fossil, pollutant power plant in energy savings and have received the first VPPP awards in Romania at the CCIAT event on 25 October.
What is this program?
MI6’s (the Hungarian abbreviation for Hungarian Innovation and Efficiency Nonprofit Ltd.) Virtual Power Plant™ Program (VPPP) is the largest sustainability initiative in Central and Eastern Europe, collecting and supporting energy savings and renewable energy production actions since 2011, and using this knowledge to share, motivate, educate, raise fund, provide professional services and raise awareness among its participants, i.e. municipalities, companies, policy makers and other organisations.
The Program is widely recognized: it was selected among the TOP3 energy efficiency programs in Europe by the European Commission at the EU Sustainable Energy Award 2015. It has been featured at the cover of Forbes magazine, and also won the patronage of the Hungarian President of the Republic in 2019, who advised the United Nations Climate Summit 2019 participants to introduce this program in their countries.
VPPP is based in Hungary, now operating in four countries (Hungary, Romania, United Kingdom, Italy) with expansion under way in many countries. Currently it has 9000+ company members, 200+ municipalities, educates 400,000+ students annually and acts as a trusted advisor to policy makers in the field of energy efficiency and climate.
The Program is a social innovation, using a preventive approach. It closely links a non-profit scheme and motivational system with for-profit market network building, allows entry for stakeholders at several levels, uses gamification methods and has scaled up from 0 to becoming the 4th largest (though virtual) power plant in Hungary in 10 years. Energy savings equal the production capacity of 588 MW fossil power plant, while the collected energy savings account for around 2.2 million tons of CO2 saved by partners, such as Audi, MOL, Continental, Lafarge, Honeywell or Engie.
Why is it relevant in Timis?
In March, 2019, MI6 started the CEE regional expansion of the Virtual Power Plant in Timisoara, Romania, in active partnership with the local Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (CCIAT). The project has been co-funded by EIT Climate-KIC.
There have been numerous strategic and operational goals planned in the pilot, all of which have been realised successfully within the given timeframe. The strategic goal was to establish and standardise a complex VPPP service package to foster energy savings and climate mitigation actions in all relevant stakeholder groups, which can be easily implemented, localised and adapted to any region. The pilot project has proven that such an implementation process can successfully be carried out in a half-year preparation and half-year implementation time frame, with meaningful successes for all stakeholders.
The Timis Program has set out to collect at least 1 MW of fossil power plant capacity equivalent, with at least 5 relevant good practices shared from different energy efficiency projects. The Timis partners more than doubled up on these expectations: 19 companies have joined the program, with 8 of them producing valuable good practices to be used for awareness raising and knowledge sharing purposes. They have contributed to the building of the Timis Virtual Powerplant by 2,379 MW (i.e. megawatt fossil power plant production equivalent). This amount equals to roughly 28.8 GWh primary consumption and 8.091 tCO2 equivalent saved.
The first award gala of the Timis Virtual Power Plant Program was organised by the local VPPP operator, CCIAT as part of an awarding event with more than 800 attendees. With awardees like Continental, Zoppas Industries, Kimball Electrics, Colterm, Aquatim or the Politechnica and West Universities of Timisoara, major stakeholders of the region were present at the event, showing that energy efficiency and renewable technologies are not only cost saving, but also exemplary.
We think that the key to the success was to have a local group of committed experts driving an already well-established process of awareness raising and best practice collecting procedures, with local companies, municipalities and citizens being open to tackle serious challenges of the future, today.
Where to go next?
With the first successes arriving, and with a local Advisory Board established, the program continues its operation in Timisoara thanks to CCIAT. It envisions an even more ambitious goal, to create an international knowledge sharing community linking good practices form all participating countries and professions, involving multiple levels of stakeholders from companies to municipalities alike, while still looking to expand its base of energy saving practices with the help of committed local partners. The program also looks for the first mover mentor organisations, which join the program with a strong commitment to support other companies on their journey to a higher level of energy efficiency.
For more info, please contact us