IRENE: Improving the Robustness of Urban Electricity Networks PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00

Involvment type: participant
Project website:
Project contract: Jpi Urban Europe, n°847342
Start date: 01-10-2014
End date: 31-03-2017

Project IRENE is researching how best to mitigate vulnerabilities of urban electricity grids by utilizing the flexibility of future smart grids with decentralized generation and smart control. The aim is to ensure availability of power supply for critical infrastructures to enable minimal viable operation during large scale power outages or shortages.

To achieve this we are investigating what social, economic and technical components will be needed to ensure that city based power generation and storage are routed and prioritized to enable these critical city functions while other noncritical consumers reduce their electricity load.


The societal and economic consequences of power outages can be severe, in particular if the last longer than a few hours. If appropriately enabled highly decentralized energy system of future smart cities that use energy resources from wind, sun, and cogeneration can be used to mitigate the impact of such outages.

Goals and Objectives

Enable a highly robust and highly available power supply for smart city scenarios utilizing a multi-disciplinary problem definition and solution approach.

IRENE targets to:

  • Identify security threats and their impacts on critical infrastructures.
  • Define technical means of utilizing distributed energy generation, storage and demand flexibility to increase power availability for critical infrastructures.
  • Identify procedures and incentives to allow increased power availability for critical infrastructures.
  • Develop tools that help city planners and distribution system operators to guide the planning/deployment of smart grid functions needed to optimize power availability for critical infrastructure.

The aim of IRENE is to develop a collaboration framework that allows cities for different faults/attack scenarios to collaborate with their stakeholders

  • to mitigate security risks in energy systems,
  • to understand minimum operational power requirements and system dependencies
  • to create decentralised energy inventory and support the sharing of power if needed in an equitable and fair way for all city stakeholders

Expected outcomes

The IRENE framework will include

  • A quantitative model-based security and dependability evaluation of example use cases to understand cascading effects of the Smart Grids and connected infrastructures
  • New means to stop cascading energy system/energy dependent system failures that are initiated either deliberately or accidentally by
    • utilizing islanding of both grid and ICT infrastructure (continuing operation autonomously), and
    • relying on energy storage and production capacity of buildings to maintain island grid operation.
  • Concepts of reduced supply demand flexibility that ensure sparse energy resources in islanding to be consumed by most critical infrastructures

Resilient Computing Lab, 2011

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