Launched in November 2018, the MUSE GRIDS research project funded by the European Union aims to transform weakly connected areas into local energy communities where engagement of citizens will allow their energy needs to be met, whilst also reducing their carbon footprint. MUSE GRIDS involves the development of two large-scale pilot projects in Italy and Belgium, and includes partners from universities, research centres and leading EU companies from the energy sector.
MUSE GRIDS is a research project which aims to demonstrate a set of both technological and non-technological solutions to optimise the self-production and use of energy in local areas. To achieve this aim, two large-scale pilot projects will be implemented in different European contexts where there are weak connections with the national grid: Oud-Heverlee, a rural neighbourhood in the Flanders region of Belgium, and Osimo, a hilltop town in the Marche region of Italy.
The MUSE GRIDS project explores the best solutions for areas that for geographical and logistical reasons have weak connections to the national grid, and showcases how, interacting together, the different energy vectors of a local energy grid can contribute to the development of local energy islands, maximising local energy independency and reducing operational costs.
Through a participatory approach, the project will encourage the active involvement of the inhabitants in the pilots, with the aim of developing local energy communities where citizens can collaborate to produce and exchange energy to achieve greater reliability. Finally, successful implementation of real sustainable energy islands will contribute to meeting energy demands and reducing carbon emissions.
The concept will also be promoted on a wider scale through the establishment of virtual demo-sites in India, Israel and Spain. Various social and environmental aspects will be considered in terms of the transition towards a fully integrated smart multi-energy system.
Further activities include the organisation of workshops and webinars targeted at citizens and stakeholders, at both a national and international level, and the redaction of position papers and policy recommendations in collaboration with the BRIDGE initiative.
The MUSE GRIDS consortium is composed of 18 partners from 7 countries, including universities, research centres and leading EU companies of the energy sector. The 4-year project started in November 2018 and is funded under the Horizon 2020 framework “LC-SC3-ES-3-2018-2020 Integrated local energy systems” (grant agreement No 824441).