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How can we all contribute to using energy in a smarter way?

Since the liberalizations of the 1990s, energy has morphed into one of the most complex and capital-intensive sectors across Europe; it remains, if not the most vital, one of the most strategic. Striving to improve its performance can only deliver increased value to all stakeholders. What are ways in which to do so?

The theory

Through a type of automated energy management also known as Demand Response (DR), users can adapt their energy consumption in accordance to the flow in the market at that moment, while energy providers, from producers to distributors, can guarantee a greater stability to the grid as a whole. In other words, DR makes energy usage more efficient in the aggregate.

The practice

Not developed at scale yet. In fact, each user would require a connected smart meter to upload and download data; at scale, this would overburden networks’ current capacities. Would users be willing to pay a premium on the upgrade of their hardware and, once installed, does it truthfully enable a business model that is economically sustainable, socially accepted, and compliant with regulatory requirements? Furthermore, how can DR integrate into communities, increasingly common throughout Europe, that generate and resell energy semi- or completely autonomously?

The BRIGHT project aims to answer these questions through the deployment of a series of advanced technologies, which span from digital twins to smart contracts, in four pilot sites. CyberEthics Lab.’s role in the project is dual: on one hand, we work together with all partners to guarantee the compliance of data flows with GDPR and other relevant laws, regulations, and directives; on the other, we aim to assess, through our own proprietary method, the level of social acceptability of the technologies across pilot sites.

Website: www.brightproject.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 957816.

Service involved

Responsible Research & Innovation
We love discovering and staying on top of new research to continuously advance our knowledge and to transform it into responsible innovation, taking into account effects and potential impacts on ethics, privacy and data protection. We help national and international partners to handle ethical, legal and cybersecurity concerns on both the research process and the project outcomes, through the legal support for the involvement of human beings in the research activity, the analysis of the national and regional legal framework applicable to the implementing technology and the recommendations for the secure and compliant development of technology. We are a multidisciplinary team that promotes the inclusion of legal and ethical concerns in the design of the technology, researching and producing new knowledge and best practices towards making a conscious and transparent adoption of technology.