Recent scientific publications

The following scientific publications have been presented or co-authored by Smart Innovation Norway in different academic fora. If you are interested in learning more about our publications, please contact:

Scientific Coordinator Dr. Iliana Ilieva or

Head of Research & Innovation Dieter Hirdes

1. Digital Ecosystems as a Disruptive Force of Flexibility Services in the Energy Sector


With the advances of new technologies related to digitization and artificial intelligence (AI) and with the increasing interest in sharing economy, industries and economies of various sectors are being reshaped. The impact of these technological changes (also being commented upon as the Fourth Industrial Revolution [1]), combined with evolving attitudes and interests of modern end-users is by no doubts leaving its trace in the power sector as well.

In particular, we could see a vast potential of improved business models in the energy field that capture the new trends associated with the accelerating development of energy-related technologies (such as for distributed energy resources (DER)), digitization and changing customer preferences with strong focus on hi-tech feeling, environment and variety of choice.

The anticipated business model transformation points strongly towards the ecosystem development that revolutionizes industry after industry [2]. In this context, we foresee for the energy sector innovative business models where digital ecosystems serve as a disruptive force for enablement of flexibility services.

2. The Innovative Role of Local System Operator as a Facilitator of Grid and Community Services in the Local Electricity Market


Local electricity markets offer attractive solutions to long pending grid challenges associated with grid balancing, power quality and supply security, particularly with increased introduction of distributed renewable energy resources. This paper addresses questions regarding the roles, responsibilities and rights associated with local market participation, as well as issues that relate to the activities which can be carried out in the market.

We describe the local system operator (LSO) as the most central role that is in charge of the operation of the local electricity market and we add to the state-of-the-art by paying particular attention to the possibilities that digitization offers within the local market context.

More specifically, the capabilities of utilizing big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide new or amplified business opportunities for the local market participants are central for the market design configuration that this paper focuses upon. Furthermore, we expect high stakeholder interest in the digitization-enabled innovative services around smart mobility and complementary offers of high diversity.

3. Improved Methods for Stakeholder Analysis to Unveil Vital Roles and Responsibilities in the Future Flexibility Markets


This paper presents a novel stakeholder analysis method based upon mapping. The method is applied within an ongoing research and innovation project under the umbrella of the H2020 program. Using the maps relevant stakeholders are evaluated to determine opportunities and barriers in the energy market that can accelerate or stall business initiatives with the aim to capitalize on end user flexibility.

The results show that mapping is an effective tool in revealing attitude of different stakeholders towards flexibility markets and platform-based business. The analysis is further used to shape exploitation activities of the project.

4. Advanced Power Electronics can make Distributed Energy Storage Attractive


With an increasing number of distributed renewable energy sources installed at various ends of the low-voltage grid challenges arise with respect to ensuring security and quality of supply. Combining local renewable generation with local energy storage capacities can mitigate those challenges. Yet, an increasing market with dropping costs of energy storage solution of various types can be demanding, as batteries with different schedules of charging and discharging must be managed simultaneously. However, technological innovation can well respond to that issue.

Within the RESOLVD project (2017-2020, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 773715) an innovative advanced power electronics device with integrated storage management capabilities is to be developed. The device will be capable of optimizing on the co-joint charging and discharging schedules of different storage technologies. In this way the device will allow for significantly improved grid-to-storage interactions and will contribute for better control and flexibility utilization in the low-voltage grid, based on flattening the demand curve at the substation level, loss reduction, improved voltage control and supply quality.

More specifically, the new power electronics devices to be produced in RESOLVD embraces a variety of new technology – a power conversion system, a battery management system and an intelligent local energy manager to cater for communications and the implementation of overall device control logic. These new technologies will be supported by a decision support toolkit, a distributed software platform and a wide area monitoring system to comprise an overall solution that successfully supports the low-voltage grid.

The advanced power electronics device is to facilitate interactions with legacy systems which makes it suitable for integration at various low-voltage grid levels and for the benefit of various stakeholders. Thus, a diverse set of new business models can be envisioned to provide for an optimal utilization of energy storage capacities located at the relevant stakeholders’ premises. The objective of this paper is to describe various stakeholders that can effectively implement the RESOLVD advanced power electronics solution and propose use cases validating the business models to be applied. In addition, the paper is to reflect on the benefits associated with the introduction of the specific technology solution for both the low-voltage level grid and the stakeholders to apply the device. The specific methods taken in use are: stakeholder analysis (with mapping of relevant stakeholders), analysis of potential market size and pricing policy, definition of new business models and specific use cases.

Our analysis suggests that the power electronics device with storage management capabilities can, besides its primer use by distribution system operators, be attractive for various low-voltage grid users. Among the most eminent ones are considered energy communities owning storage of various types, neighborhood/block managers, industrial facilities, commercial buildings of larger-scale. The specific use-cases indicate a profitable business environment for the RESOLVD solution. However, possibilities for high degree of customization are needed and the overall applicability of the solution will depend on the market developments within the energy storage field.

5. Energy Storage as a Trigger for Business Model Innovation in the Energy Sector


This paper studies various techno-economic factors that influence the energy storage market and identifies key thematic elements which will contribute to the development of business models in the energy storage sector. With multiple technological innovations penetrating the electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems, traditional business models in the energy sector stand on the verge of a fundamental transformation.

Energy storage will serve as the catalyst for such disruptive business model innovations by offering distributed, on-demand, real-time flexibility and services. Platform business models have already revolutionized other sectors and present a huge potential for energy storage based management services that can dynamically match supply and demand of energy, and cater for flexibility and associated end-user benefits in the grid.

The Horizon 2020 project INVADE will realize a cloud-based platform for energy storage services at different levels in the distribution grid along with a rich framework of innovative business models.

6. Local Economic Dispatch with Local Renewable Generation and Flexible Load Management


This paper presents a new local economic dispatch composed of local renewable energy sources, residential loads, flexible residential loads, and the retail market. The outlined model is based on a two-stage stochastic mixed-integer programming model, whose objective function minimizes the operational costs.

The mathematical formulation is composed of three blocks of constraints such as cost, balance and flexible constraints. As a stochastic programming problem, the main decisions are the energy bought in the retail market, flexible energy of the residential load to be increased and decreased in each scheduling period and the excess of generation from the prosumers injected into the network, to be sold in the retail market.

A case study over the 24 hours with residential loads, flexible residential loads, and prosumers shows the effects on the costs, but also the effects of marginal costs on the main decisions. The proposed case study helps to draw the main conclusions of our problem.

7. Flexibility offered to the distribution grid from households with a photovoltaic panel on their roof: Results and experiences from several pilots in a Norwegian research project
  • Written by: Bernt A Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway/University of Tromsø), Hanne Sæle, Merkebu Zenebe Degefa, (SINTEF Energy Researc), and Geir Mathisen (SINTEF Digital)
  • Published at: EnergyCon 2018
  • Project of relevance: FlexNett


The objective of this study is to evaluate how PV-oriented prosumers can offer flexibility to the Distribution System Operator (DSO). The different cases focus on the customer and changes on the customer side that will benefit both the customer and the distribution grid. (Actual tests of services delivered to the DSO have not been performed.)

The study also highlights the importance of being proactive about the placement of roof top panels near the loads in the grid for a better balance between PV-output and loads at the terminal points in the grid. This approach demonstrated the secure operations of the grid well below the capacity limits and yield better rewards for the prosumer.

In this study, storage options at the prosumer side are also considered and both technical and economic aspects are analysed. Special emphasis is placed on the impact of power tariff structures that include capacity considerations.

8. Design characteristics of a smart grid dominated local market
  • Written by: Iliana Ilieva, Bernt Bremdal and Jayaprakash Rajasekharan (Smart Innovation Norway), Stig Ødegaard Ottesen (eSmart Systems), and Pol Olivella-Rosell (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)
  • Published at: CIRED Workshop 2016
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 EMPOWER


The purpose of this paper is to describe the roles, services and relationships that a local market would encompass, and the type of market interactions that should take place in it. The local market place constitutes an arena for a new business role – the smart energy service provider, which represents the entity with the most central functionalities with respect to local market operation.

The local market is described as consisting of three key elements of brokerage/sale: energy, flexibility and other services. Three alternative market settings are considered: islanding mode, interaction with the wholesale market and a third one where other market agents (aggregators/retailers) carry the interactions with the wholesale market.

Finally, the paper specifies the relationship between the smart energy service provider and the various local market actors and provides a clarifying user case.

9. Creating a local energy market


The local energy market concept in EMPOWER is introduced. It places emphasis on a value-oriented approach and not energy price alone. It is organised within a neighbourhood and supported by a platform-based business model.

The concept integrates trade in energy, end-user flexibility and energy-related services and products. Example contracts are presented along with initial results related to recruitment and establishment of such markets.

10. Platform based business models in the future energy market


Global markets are experiencing a paradigm-shift due to the introduction of new business models. In addition to this, the shift towards prosumers, customer friendly regulation and services and decentralized energy markets are now making their way into the energy markets. To address these challenges the Horizon 2020 project named INVADE is developing technology platforms and platform based business models in parallel to address these challenges.

Our approach has been to study the effects of platform based business models in other industries, what platform based business models look like, how they work, and how they are currently developed in energy markets.

The next step has been to confront the technical work packages and the pilot owners in the project to align theory with practice. This has produced tangible outcomes.

11. Local Flexibility Market Design for Aggregators Providing Multiple Flexibility Services at Distribution Network Level
  • Written by: Pol Olivella-Rosell, Pau Lloret-Gallego, Íngrid Munné-Collado, Roberto Villafafila-Robles and Andreas Sumper (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), Stig Ødegaard Ottessen (eSmart Systems), Jayaprakash Rajasekharan, (Smart Innovation Norway), and Bernt A. Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway/UiT)
  • Published at: Energies 2018, 11(4), 822


This paper presents a general description of local flexibility markets as a marketbased management mechanism for aggregators. The high penetration of distributed energy resources introduces new flexibility services like prosumer or community self-balancing, congestion management and time-of-use optimization.

This work is focused on the flexibility framework to enable multiple participants to compete for selling or buying flexibility. In this framework, the aggregator acts as a local market operator and supervises flexibility transactions of the local energy community. Local market participation is voluntary. Potential flexibility stakeholders are the distribution system operator, the balance responsible party and end-users themselves. Flexibility is sold by means of loads, generators, storage units and electric vehicles.

Finally, this paper presents needed interactions between all local market stakeholders, the corresponding inputs and outputs of local market operation algorithms from participants and a case study to highlight the application of the local flexibility market in three scenarios. The local market framework could postpone grid upgrades, reduce energy costs and increase distribution grids’ hosting capacity.

12. Design and Operational Characteristics of Local Energy and Flexibility Markets in the Distribution Grid
  • Written by: Jayaprakash Rajasekharan (Smart Innovation Norway), Bernt Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway/UiT), Stig Ødegaard Ottesen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Pol Olivella-Rosell, Roberto Villafafila-Robles and Andreas Sumper (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)
  • Published at: Proceedings from the eurelectric-florence school of regulation conference, June 7, 2017
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 EMPOWER


The coming up decarbonized European electricity system with the proliferation of distributed and renewable energy production sources have created a global surge of interest in local electricity markets for neighbourhoods. Moreover, the European electricity system in 2050 will have millions of prosumers, electric vehicles and storage units willing to provide energy and flexibility that will be capitalized in distribution grids.

Our vision is an integrated wholesale market with geographical distributed multiple local markets. This topic has caught the attention of policy makers, regulatory bodies and researchers alike.

In this paper, we present some of the results on local market design and operation that has been developed in Work Package 6 of EMPOWER Horizon 2020 project. We propose a new market player role titled Smart Energy Service Provider (SESP) that manages the local market for energy, flexibility and other services. SESP provides an ICT trading platform for local players in the distribution grid such as DSO, prosumers, consumers, storage owners, distributed generators and others to participate in various local markets.

13. EMPOWER: A network market approach for local energy trade
  • Written by: Bernt Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway/UiT), Pol Olivella-Rosell and Jayaprakash Rajasekharan (Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: Powertech conference 2017
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 EMPOWER


This paper describes the local market for trade in energy, flexibility and energy related services developed in the ongoing H2020 project, EMPOWER. It is based on a network market approach.

The establishment of a local community of prosumers and consumers, inspired by Internet communities, energy cooperatives and online shopping clubs, is central to the idea.

At the heart of the community the Smart Energy Service Provider (SESP) can be found. The principal entities and operations associated with the local market concept developed are explained. Some early field results described.

14. Batterier og smarte elnett
  • Written by: Bernt Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway/UiT – The Arctic University of Norway)
  • Presented at: Teknologien endrer samfunnet, 2017


Hele det europeiske elektrisitetssystemet er én stor maskin. Et mangfold av kraftverk opererer helt synkront på det samme nettet, med umiddelbar respons på tvers av kontinenter, slik at enda flere forbrukere skal kunne benytte sine husholdningsmaskiner, verktøy og instrumenter i det samme øyeblikket.

Det er et gigantisk sanntidssystem som opererer med høy presisjon fra mikrosekund til mikrosekund. Nøyaktig kontroll og regulering av vekselstrømmens frekvens og faser i samme øyeblikk i hele elsystemet er viktig. På samme måte må man sikre at spenningen ligger rundt 230 volt. I det øyeblikket folk står opp om morgenen, slår på kaffetrakteren og går i dusjen, må forsyningen reagere spontant.

Den elektronstrømmen som får varmeelementet i trakteren til å gløde, må genereres et sted i nettet i samme øyeblikk som bryteren slås på. Slik har systemet fungert i mer enn 100 år. Men nye utfordringer og ny teknologi krever endring.

15. Day-ahead micro-market design for distributed energy resources
  • Written By: Pol Olivella-Rosell, Guillem Viñals-Canal, Andreas Sumper and Roberto Villafafila-Robles (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya), Bernt Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway/UiT), Iliana Ilieva (Smart Innovation Norway), Stig Ødegaard Ottesen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
  • Published at: EnergyCon 2016


This paper defines a day-ahead micro-market structure and illustrates its capability of increasing distributed energy resources’ integration. This micro-market mimics in the distribution level the structure of the current European day-ahead markets and their rules to introduce competition, and is based on the social welfare indicator.

Micro-markets could overcome two major challenges of pool markets: they could consider the distribution network to ensure feasibility of the matched configurations and they could handle a high penetration of renewable energy without generation costs. A micro-market is controlled and supervised by the micro-market operator who executes the auction algorithm.

This paper exposes a state-of-the-art about micro-markets, proposes a structure and a set of rules, and shows micro-market’s behaviour in a case study. The results show that with under-sized distribution networks the micro-market can effectively improve the social welfare with respect to other simpler approaches.

16. Using Ant Colony Optimization to determine influx of EVs and charging station capacities
  • Written by: Kristoffer Tangrand (Smart Technology Group, ICT Dept. University of Tromsø), and Bernt A. Bremdal (Smart Technology Group, ICT Dept. University of Tromsø Narvik/Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: 2016 IEEE International Energy Conference (ENERGYCON)


This paper presents a novel method for determining plug-in Elecric Vehicle (EV) traffic and associated recharging needs based on an ACO (Ant Colony Optimization) method. The method is used to analyze traffic patterns and to determine their impact on the local grid and the design of charging stations.

The research reported here also supports the design of a portfolio of Charging Stations (CSs) across a limited geographical area and use this to determine the required capacities of each station. An empirical basis for the research presented has been gathered from Norway where the number of EVs are growing fast and where use of EVs for different purposes, including long-range driving, are becoming very pronounced. The research presented also shows how demand for charging at different times can be determined.

This lays the foundation for estimating peak loads in the local grid due to EV charging. For the individual driver the system presented can be used to find preferred routing under different circumstances such as traffic congestion.

17. EMPOWER – A network market approach for local energy trade and renewable electricity system integration
  • Written by: B. Bremdal, J. Rajasekharan, C.W. Kunze and P. Olivella-Rosell (Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Integration of Solar Power into Power Systems, Berlin, Germany, Oct. 24-25, 2017
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 EMPOWER


This paper describes the local market for trade in energy, flexibility and energy related services developed in the ongoing H2020 project, EMPOWER. It is based on a network market approach.

The establishment of a local community of prosumers and consumers, inspired by Internet communities, energy cooperatives and online shopping clubs, is central to the idea. At the heart of the community the Smart Energy Service Provider (SESP) can be found.

The principal entities and operations associated with the local market concept developed are explained. Some early field results as well as regulatory challenges for a broader roll-out are described.

18. Operational experiences of PEMFC pilot plant using low grade hydrogen from sodium chlorate production process
  • Written by: J. Ihonen, P. Koski, V. Pulkkinen, T. Keränen 1, H. Karimäki1, S. Auvinen, K. Nikiforow, M., Kotisaari and J. Viitakangas (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland), and H. Tuiskula (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland/Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 42, Issue 44, 2 November 2017, Pages 27269-27283


A 50 kW PEMFC pilot plant has been operated 4400 hours using hydrogen originating from a sodium chlorate production process after standard industry purification processes were applied.

The first stage of the fuel cell system operation was performed using anode gas recirculation, while in the other stages an open anode configuration was applied. The fuel cell system did not show extensive degradation despite the low quality of the hydrogen and frequent shut-downs. The average degradation rate was 2-3 microvolts per hour at low and medium currents (10-150 A).

The main causes for any unreliability were found to be hydrogen supply side system components, namely pressure reducers and valves. Recommendations are given for the improvement of both PEMFC power plant design and operation for industrial hydrogen applications.

19. Economic evaluation of the grid tariff for households with solar power installed
  • Written by: Hanne Sæle (Sintef Energi) and Bernt A. Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: 4th International Conference & Exhibition on Electricity Distribution (CIRED)
  • Project of relevance: FlexNett


This study focuses on alternative grid tariffs for household customers with roof top photovoltaic (PV) panels(‘prosumers’), and evaluates how alternative grid tariffs might affect the benefit from investing in a roof top PV panel.

The study further shows how different orientations of the PV panels can affect the benefits for the prosumers subjectedto different grid tariffs (e.g. a power grid tariff), where the idea is that self-consumption will produce the best economicyield. First different alternatives for distribution grid tariffs to household customers and prosumers are presented.

Afterwards, the study presents empirical data showing typical consumption and generation for some households with PV panels (located in south-eastern and central Norway).

20. Bringing Business and Societal Impact Together in an Evolving Energy Sector
  • Written by: Iliana Ilieva (Smart Innovation Norway), Bernt Bremdal (Smart Innovation Norway and UiT – The Arctic University of Norway), and Sanket Puranik (Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: ICEEEP 2019, 3rd International Conference on Energy Economics and Energy Policy
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 INVADE


As the challenges associated with sustainability, urbanization, life quality and demography become more imminent, companies are adapting to the changing requirements by means of revised strategic approaches. Thus, enterprises are increasingly deviating from the traditionally absolute priority of maximizing total return for shareholders. While this priority is still important, businesses are also looking at the total societal impact (TSI), which represents a collection of measures and assessments that incorporate the economic, social and environmental impacts of their products and services.

This paper focuses on the compound influence that TSI may have within the energy domain. In particular, the business opportunities resulting from the Horizon 2020 funded project INVADE are being discussed but seen from the perspective of a socially responsible corporate strategy.

Referring to discussions, analyses and undertaken initiatives, this paper concludes that business models which incorporate environmentally friendly, local and social and fair energy are capable of accelerating business growth for the concerned companies.

21. DSOs as beneficiaries of innovative contracts and services, facilitated through local electricity market structures
  • Written by: Iliana Ilieva (Smart Innovation Norway) and Eivind Gramme (Skagerak Nett)
  • Published at: CIRED 2019, 25th International Conference on Electricity Distribution
  • Project of relevance: E-REGIO


This paper focuses on contracts that a distribution system operator (DSO) would find attractive given it can utilise the flexibility offered through a local electricity market environment. The context for this research work is based on the E-REGIO project that investigates the roles of a local system operator (LSO) as related to the facilitation of grid and community services.

The current paper builds upon previous research by paying particular attention to the DSO’s needs and how these can be satisfied through innovative services and contract regimes.

Once a context of grid needs and the associated local market solution is set, and the theoretical description of the contracts and services is provided, the paper continues with an overview of the pilot-based approach used to verify the contract’s implementation as an instrument to meet the needs of the grid operators.

22. Identification and validation of new business models for DSO business environment using business model canvas and stakeholder groups
  • Written by: Heidi Tuiskula, Sanket Puranik, Iliana Ilieva and Christian Kunze (Smart Innovation Norway)
  • Published at: CIRED 2019, 25th International Conference on Electricity Distribution
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 RESOLVD


Different technologies aiming to digitize the distribution grid are being developed within research and innovation (R&I) projects. To unlock the true potential of the digital technologies in the distribution grid, novel solutions must be coupled with new business models. However, creating and validating new business models in the early phase of the innovation process and during the relatively short period of R&I projects is a challenge.

This paper presents a methodology to create and validate new business models using business model canvas (BMC) and a stakeholder innovation group (SIG). The methodology is currently being tested in the RESOLVD project funded by European Union under the H2020 scheme.

23. RESOLVD – Renewable Penetration Levered by Efficient Low Voltage Distribution Grids. Specification and Use Case Analysis
  • Written by: Joaquim Meléndez Frigola (Universitat de Girona – Spain), Isidoros Kokos (Intracom Telecom – Greece), Heidi Tuiskula (Smart Innovation Norway), Andreas Sumper (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – Spain), Stefan Marksteiner (Joanneum Research – Austria), Ramon Gallart (Estabanell Distribució – Spain), Miha Smolnikar (Comsensus – Slovenia), and Ferran Torrent Fontbona (Universitat de Girona – Spain)
  • Published at: CIRED 2019, 25th International Conference on Electricity Distribution
  • Project of relevance: EU Horizon 2020 RESOLVD


The paper presents the RESOLVD (Renewable penetration levered by efficient low voltage distribution grids) project, that aims to improve the efficiency and the hosting capacity of distribution networks, in a context of highly distributed renewable generation by introducing flexibility (storage management) and control in the low voltage (LV) grid.

The analysis methodology – which follows the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) framework paradigm – is presented, along with the identified use cases and actors.

The proposed initial architecture is also presented, as derived from the use case analysis process together with a cybersecurity analysis of integration and interoperability issues. The research is being motivated by business models and the expected impacts are summarized in the paper.