WHAT IS ICE?
Funded by the INTERREG VA France (Channel) England Programme, the Intelligent Community Energy project (ICE) aims to design, implement and promote innovative smart energy solutions for isolated territories facing issues in terms of efficiency, reliability and sustainability in the Channel area. It runs for 50 months, from June 2016 to August 2020, but aims to deliver durable impacts beyond its duration. The project designs and produces an innovative low-carbon energy system (smart grid), able to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission of the territories concerned (50% to 100% compared to a fuel-based system) and secure energy access security. It will cover the entire energy cycle from production to consumption, exploit local renewable energy sources and integrate new and existing technologies currently at different levels of readiness, in order to deliver a comprehensive innovative solution.
In order to validate their feasibility, these solutions will be implemented and tested on real pilot demonstration sites.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The ICE project tackles the key challenge faced by the Channel area in reducing the energy vulnerability of the region. Isolated territories such as islands and peripheral communities of the Channel area are either located at the end of energy distribution networks or depend mainly on fossil fuel generation which can be expensive and vulnerable to supply issues. This implies not only above average carbon emissions, but also higher production and sales costs, energy security issues and lack of resilience as well as higher risk of supply chain disruption. The natural potential of these territories as renewable energy (RE) sources (i.e. marine, wind, solar energy) is currently underexploited and, although feasibility studies have been carried out during the past years, there is the need to move forward to a demonstration phase and towards the transition to a smart energy system.
Furthermore, ICE responds to the territorial need to strengthen cooperation in terms of smart growth. The economic development of this area is currently affected by low investments and the weak competitiveness of local enterprises. The growth and innovation potential of the Channel area should be further maximized by diversifying and sustaining current activities in promising sectors (e.g. marine), supporting the creation of competitive cross-border clusters, assisting SMEs to access funding and support the competitiveness of businesses locally and abroad.
Efficiency of an innovative system
ICE aims to respond to identified needs concerning energy reliability and decarbonization in isolated territories by assuring an improved production and consumption of renewable energy through smart grid.
By combining analysis and demonstration phases, ICE will foster the adoption and accelerate the route to market of products and services integrating low carbon solutions. Consumer engagement will be key to further guarantee this adoption.
To do so, ICE will exploit existing key local assets such as the SABELLA’s subsea tidal turbine that already obtained the authorization to be immersed and connected to Ushant’s grid, or UEA’s low carbon campus that already has appropriate infrastructure solutions that will host demonstration activities. Additionally to these existing technologies, the project will develop innovative and transferable low carbon solutions. Finally, as ICE actions cover all aspects from production to consumption, all SMEs are likely to benefit from the project leverage effect and ultimately improve their competitiveness.
Answer to today’s challenges
ICE aims to align on current ideals promoted by the EC:
With its focus on improving the transition to a low-carbon energy system in isolated territories thanks to energy efficient solutions integrating low-carbon RE sources, it will contribute to sustainable development. Smart Grids improve energy efficiency by monitoring the electricity demand and supply. This leads to a more flexible energy system, lowering costs and losses and improving quality and security of supply. Moreover, Smart Grids enable the integration of RE sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, thus ultimately fostering the transition to a sustainable system.
ICE also promotes equal opportunities and non-discriminatory access by providing safe and healthy environments in which to live, work and study, free from hazardous environmental conditions and not just accessible to those that can afford to pay. ICE will besides provide a non-discriminatory access to energy for communities of peripheral areas, ensuring the access to reliable supply at affordable prices.
Transferability of the solution
ICE aims to define a transferable methodology for the adoption of smart energy solutions for isolated communities.
These solutions will be integrated in a complete commercial offer to propose to other peripheral territories facing similar energy challenges. Three territories in the Channel area and two in Europe will be identified as first targets (Promotion sites). Stakeholders will help identify interested territories and facilitate the transferability process.
Furthermore, a Technical Advisory Board (TAB), including representatives of territories, businesses and consumers, will be implemented to offer technical guidance for the project implementation phase and facilitate the Transferability process.
If you know about a vulnerable and isolated territory able to benefit from ICE solution, do not hesitate to contact us through the Contact Form.
Durability of the project impacts
ICE actions and objectives are aligned with the priorities defined in the long-term energy strategies, which will support the durability of project impacts. Furthermore, the sustainability of projects outputs and results will also be guaranteed by:
ensuring consumer engagement and encouraging their active role in the system,
committing partners to involve relevant stakeholders, identify potential territories where ICE solutions may be transferred, promote the project outputs even beyond its duration etc,
supporting SMEs to increase their access to finance and capital as the business model is not subject to IP protection.