Smart Gas Grid, boosting the energy transition
Thanks to the implementation of new equipment and digitized functionalities, the natural gas network operated by GRDF becomes a key enabler of the energy transition in the territories.
The most mature innovation, the Smart gas meter, already contributes to a better monitoring of energy demand. Furthermore, Smart Gas Grid maximizes the network’s ability to integrate decentralized production of renewable gases and therefore accelerates decarbonization of end-uses (heat, cooking, industrial processes and mobility). It allows connection between complementary energy systems (especially with the power network), and thus increases the development of renewables and the flexibility potential of the whole energy system.
What is Smart Gas Grid ?
Smart Gas Grid is a digitized gas network supporting new features by integrating innovative, low cost and smart sensors based on nanotechnologies. It is also an innovative way of collecting data (through a 169 MHz radio network) and processing it (data analytics, AI). These solutions allow a more dynamic monitoring of the distribution network, including local balancing.
Smart Gas Grid fulfills four missions:
- It increases the incorporation of green gas in the distribution network.
- It enables integration with electricity, heating, water and telecommunications networks.
- It incorporates new information and communication technologies.
- It improves the energy efficiency of the gas grid.
Benefits of Smart Gas Grid
Smart Gas Grid allows the gas distribution network to become a tool of the circular economy as recovered waste is used as feedstock for the production of green gases, which are injected into the network. Smart Gas Grid also optimizes energy costs at local level through the flexibility that it offers to the electricity grid. In addition, it helps accommodate intermittently available renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy in the energy mix, thus facilitating the achievement of greenhouse gas reduction targets.
A key component of Smart Gas Grid: smart pipes
Smart pipes are based on three key concepts:
- Remote surveillance of installations detects any malfunctions and ensures the highest quality service possible.
- Remote sensing helps improve flow reconstruction by combining data from the various meters and sensors at key points in the network. Added benefits include improved response in emergency situations, optimized investments and optimized stocks.
- Remote control of certain installations – already in place for biomethane injection stations – will help maximize the injection of renewable gases and allow better balancing between supply and demand.
GRDF’s commitment to demonstrator projects
GRDF is a committed partner in numerous demonstrators intended to develop specific aspects and features of Smart Gas Grid. Among these projects are the following:
- West Grid Synergy, a project aiming to enhance and maximize the production of renewable gas at a regional level (reverse flow installations, data exchange between transmission and distribution service operators, improved remote monitoring of the network)
- GRHYD, a project testing the injection of hydrogen into a newly built distribution network
- Nice Smart Valley, a demonstrator testing the potential of smart gas products, such as hybrid heat pumps, and developing connectivity for smart products (completed)
- Plus a number of energy management experiments based on data delivered by smart meters to determine the most effective way of encouraging consumers to use gas consumption data to control their energy consumption