INESC TEC participates in the first “living lab” of renewable energies in Porto
"Asprela + Sustentável" gathers a dynamic community and infrastructure around new concepts and energy policies.
09th April 2021
INESC TEC is one of the 14 partners of the consortium currently developing the “Asprela + Sustentável”, a new energy “living laboratory” in the city of Porto.
Regarding the creation of the first renewable energy community in the city - which will be installed in the Asprela park, in order to test models of microgeneration for collective self-consumption -, INESC TEC will contribute to the analysis of energy flows and the definition of the impact measurement methodology.
During the initial phase, INESC TEC’s working group, led by Alexandre Lucas, will focus on identifying the energy consumption patterns and characterising the infrastructure - necessary to establish a reference point comparable with the results observed in a more advanced phase of the project.
Concerning the second phase, INESC TEC will contribute to the definition of the impact measurement methodology, standardising practices and metrics essential to evaluate the laboratory’s results.
The characterisation of a living infrastructure
In addition to the characterisation of the static infrastructure, INESC TEC will be responsible for classifying the dynamics of the community. In the interest of a thorough assessment of the benefits of the project, it will be necessary to consider data about the region's energy needs.
In this sense, one ought to consider metrics associate with mobility - not only what is done within the community, but also actions from outside into the community, since a certain share of the population considered in terms of consumption does not live in the area.
This complexity of variables, as well as the way they relate to each other, poses the greatest challenge to the INESC TEC team: calculating the relationship between the energy generated by the community, the actual consumption and the waste.
A laboratory of opportunities for the future
Despite not being the only one at national level, Asprela's energy "living lab" is the first in Portugal to act as a “sandbox”, thus ensuring total flexibility and scalability to accommodate other activities in the future. Thus, the model can be developed continuously, embracing new technologies and elements as needed.
Unlike traditional laboratories and experimentation spaces, the "living lab" allows testing public policies in real scenarios and without isolating variables, preserving the impact of all external variables and providing a more thorough observation of results, close to the final implementation.
Concerning INESC TEC - and the Centre for Power and Energy Systems (CPES) in particular -, this experience consolidates the Centre's expertise in one of its main area, while encouraging future reproductions or adaptations.
The “Asprela + Sustentável” was approved with the highest ranking among the projects that applied to the “Environment, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy” programme, promoted by EEA Grants. It brings together a consortium of 14 partners, led by Coopernico, with €1M of global funding.