Smart grids and energy systems

A photo of solar panels with power lines in the background.

We develop systemic solutions that transform the energy sector towards carbon-neutrality.

Key facts

Deep understanding of the energy system as a whole is a prerequisite for developing a smart energy system.

Timing of energy use is becoming more important than the amount of energy used.

Cross-sectoral interaction improves efficiency, flexibility and economic feasibility. Electrification is one of the key means for reaching emission reductions.

Energy has a key position in climate change mitigation. The energy sector is responsible for almost half of the current greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, society is becoming more and more dependent on energy. Energy also needs to be socioeconomically feasible. Balancing between emission reduction targets, economic feasibility and resilience is at the core of smart grids and energy systems research.

What is an energy system?

An energy system consists of the production, distribution and consumption of energy in a building, city, country or continent. All these three are changing fast due to introduction of new technologies and an interconnected network of different forms of energy such as electricity, heating, cooling and fuels. Finding opportunities and synergies for combining these is the backbone of the future energy system. 

VTT can put together a wide range of solutions addressing the whole energy value chain, taking into account electricity, heating, cooling and fuels.

Energy systems need to change drastically

Shifting towards low-carbon society changes the energy system drastically. The energy mix is changing towards renewable, often intermittent and distributed energy resources such as wind and solar power. The amount of electric vehicles and energy storages is increasing and load profiles are changing due to new components such as heat pumps. At the same time, society sets increasing reliability requirements for energy. These changes must be managed in a safe and cost-effective manner. Smart grid technologies are one of the key enablers for this change.

We understand the energy systems as a whole

VTT’s unique offering is born out of accumulated expertise on developing various aspects of interconnected energy systems. We are able to put together a wide range of solutions addressing the whole energy value chain. Our expertise ranges from detailed technologies to system solutions, and from services to market operations. Understanding the systems as a whole is the key factor for enabling the implementation of a smart energy system. Whether you need to improve your ability to forecast your power capacity or enable connecting new resources to existing grid, VTT can help you.  

Business models are developing and the whole operating environment is changing. New actors, new roles and new markets are appearing. Several possibilities for new approaches and disrupting businesses will emerge.

Image describing the VTT smart energy system

Our future vision

In a future energy system, the complex network of interconnected forms of energy production, distribution and consumption will continue to grow and will offer a wide variety of new possibilities. It will also involve new players and new roles for old players. This creates new opportunities, businesses and markets. But it can also create disruption, complexity and confusion. VTT can help you simulate new conditions, reconsider your role in the new energy system and navigate through the transition. We have comprehensive IntelligentEnergy testbed, energy living lab in our new office building and various modelling and simulation tools to help you simulate new energy solutions.