UNEP Call: Digitalisation for Flexible and Resilient Energy Systems

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UNEP Call: Digitalisation for Flexible and Resilient Energy Systems


The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has launched a public call for pilot projects on digitalisation for flexible and resilient energy systems to step up global climate action and uptake of clean energy models.

Pilot projects will provide an opportunity to gain on-the-ground insights, test new approaches and disseminate learnings that will feed into the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s “Digital Demand-Driven Electricity Networks (3DEN)” Initiative.

3DEN is a 4-year inter-agency initiative focusing on the policy, regulatory, technology and investment context needed to accelerate progress on power system modernisation and effective utilisation of demand-side resources.

Digitalisation consists of three main elements:
Increase the availability of a huge set of data and connectivity that allows the exchange of large amounts of data.
Facilitating data analytics by tools and methods to extract useful information from data.
Promoting data-driven decision making that can be further supported by advanced controls and automation.
Funding Information


An applicant can submit a project for a maximum of euro 1.800.000 (excluding co-funding).
Pilot projects must be implemented within the 24 months timeframe.
What will the project contribute to?

The stimulus and economic recovery dimension of power system modernisation and increased use of demand-side resources.
Mapping in emerging economies/regions identifying policy context, key stakeholders, priorities, power system challenges and opportunities, ongoing initiatives and pilots, state of access to technologies, deployment, and use.
Mapping of case studies and pilot projects across the globe, implementing new approaches to scale up the use of demand-side resources and flexibility.
Screening and tracking of technological progress for smart grids and demand side resources.
Business model analysis, including classification and context analysis, and review of digitalisation and demand-side resources case studies.
Creating a project primer for policymakers, identifying current and future dynamics and changes towards decarbonised, resilient, and smart power systems.

The project caters to the urgent need to ensure the efficiency and resilience of power systems to enable cost-effective clean energy transitions. Expected benefits include:

Enabling transformational impacts
Embedding replicability and scalability
Facilitating innovation and visibility
Quantifying sustainable development benefits
Types of Application
Taking these criteria into account to showcase innovative business and regulatory models for the uptake of smarter digital power infrastructure, the call for proposals will be open to three types of applications:
Urban smart energy: Projects of this type will be developed in a local neighbourhood or a part of a city, where digitalisation can be applied to existing infrastructure (preferably already undergoing modernisation or under an existing project initiative). The solutions proposed include demand-side and distributed energy resources.
Islanded systems: Projects of this type will address power systems already enabled for islanding or off-grid/isolated/remote systems (e.g., at the end of a long feeder), where digitalisation would have demand-side integration benefits. Preferably the assets are already under an existing pilot scheme or grid modernisation initiative.
Existing asset enhancement: Projects of this broad type will be developed in contexts with existing network assets (a large number of substations, conventional lines or power electronics) on an existing grid that can be digitalised through digital twinning, or advanced metering, and control to improve efficiency, operating conditions or reduce emissions and will have a demand-side component. Preferably the assets are already under an existing pilot scheme or grid modernisation initiative.
Eligibility Criteria

Geographical Scope: Projects should be rewarded if the target country is a priority region, namely: Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia.

For more information, visit https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/energy/what-we-do/digitalisation-flexible-and-resilient-energy-systems

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