Energy Efficiency in Smart Energy Networks and Smart Grids

Date: 31. 03. 2022
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 am
Organized by: sEEnergies, Why, Renewables Grid Initiative and Aalborg University

As a response to the European Commission’s 2050 decarbonization goals, sEEnergies uniquely considers all aspects of the Energy Efficiency (EE) First Principle. By applying it in sectors and markets, country-by-country and grid-by-grid, and by combining temporal and spatial analyses, sEEnergies will develop an innovative, holistic and research-based EE-modelling approach.

The aim of sEEnergies is to quantify and operationalize the potential for energy efficiency in buildings, transport, and industry. The project goes beyond state-of-the-art science-based knowledge and methods, as it combines sectorial bottom-up knowledge with hour-by-hour modeling of the energy systems and spatial analysis in the EU. Web: Twitter: @sEEnergiesEU

At this webinar Dirk Saelens from KU Leuven presents the sEEnergies research on how an overall analysis of the behavior and costs of different energy grids is needed to assess the feasibility and technological constraints of scenarios (current and future for 2030 and 2050) towards a full decarbonization. In the sEEnergies project, the impact on electricity, thermal, and gas networks of energy efficiency scenarios is scrutinized. In this webinar we will focus on the electricity grid. However, results on natural gas grids and district heating is also presented. The findings will be combined into an indicator showing the potential issues and opportunities to implement the scenarios in the EU regions.

Dr. Noah Pflugradt will give an overview of the current state of research regarding residential demand-side management. This is part of the ongoing work in the WHY project.  Residential demand-side management has the potential to significantly influence renewable energy adoption by consuming more energy when it is available, which is one of the main goals of building a smart grid, but there are large uncertainties regarding the amounts and duration of energy that can be shifted. This talk will give an overview and introduce open-source software that can help users to quantify the potential for their specific situation.

Presented by

Dirk Saelens
(KU Leuven)

Brian Vad Mathiesen
(Aalborg University)

Noah Pflugradt
Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZ Juelich)


09:00 – 09:05
Brian Vad Mathiesen (Aalborg University)
09:05 – 09:25
Linking Energy Efficiency Measures to Energy Network Investments
Dirk Saelens (KU Leuven)
09:25 – 09:40
Smart Grids and Residential
Demand Side Management: Overview
Noah Pflugradt
(Forschungszentrum Jülich – FZ Juelich)
09:40 – 10:00
Discussion and feedback from stakeholders

Dr. Noah Pflugradt has been working on load modeling for over 10 years. As PhD-Thesis he created, a widely used tool in research to generate residential load profiles. Since then he worked in various research projects in Germany and Switzerland and is currently working at Forschungszentrum Jülich IEK-3 ( ) as team lead for the group Regional Energy Systems.

Dirk Saelens (°1974) is a MSc graduate in architectural engineering (1997) from Leuven University (KU Leuven) where he also gained his PhD in Civil Engineering (2002) with research on ventilated double-skin facades at the Building Physics Section. In 2002 he was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). In June 2005 he left the academic world for a while and became project engineer building simulation and sustainable design at VK Engineering, a large Belgian engineering company. There he was responsible for designing and simulating energy conscious and comfortable buildings. Projects included the design of the new NATO HQ in Brussels and the new hospital in Mechelen both in Belgium.

Currently he is appointed full professor “Energy in Buildings” and head of the Building Physics and Sustainable Design Section at the Department of Civil Engineering at KU Leuven. Within EnergyVille ( he is responsible for the academic aspects of the Buildings and Districts Energy Performance activity and is member of the Operational Steering Committee.  He is the current president of the IBPSA-NVL branch. His main area of expertise is the assessment of energy and comfort in buildings and urban environments through measurements and building simulation. He has over 290 publications over his entire career, including 63 in peer-reviewed journals, 4 contributions to books and about 140 contributions to conference proceedings. These publications resulted in over 850 citations in WoS (h-index 19) and 3600 citations in Google Scholar (h-index 30). He was (co-)supervisor of 14 finnished PhD dissertations and currently supervises 7 PhD-students. He has been subtaskleader in 3 IEA EBC Annex research projects (Annex 58, 60 and 71) and is activity leader in IBPSA Project 1 ( His teaching activities include lecturing Master courses in Building Services, Building Simulations and Clean Room design. He also supervises several Master of Science research theses and is co-responsible for several Problem Solving and Engineering Design courses in the Bachelor program.

Brian Vad Mathiesen, Professor in Energy Planning and Renewable Energy Systems at Aalborg University, holds a PhD in fuel cells and electrolysers in future energy systems (2008). His research focuses on technological and socio-economic transitions to renewables, energy storage, large-scale renewable energy integration and the design of 100% renewable energy systems.

He is one of the leading researchers behind the concepts of Smart Energy Systems and electrofuels. He is on the Clarivate, Web of Science Highly Cited list (2015-2020), thus among the top 1% most cited researchers globally. Among other positions, he is member of the EU Commission expert group on electricity interconnection targets in the EU and The newly founded Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) Expert Group on A Systemic Approach For the Energy Transition In Europe. He is the Research Coordinator of the Sustainable Energy Planning Research group, Principal Investigator (PI) of the RE-INVEST and sEEnergies projects, and Programme Director for the MSc in Sustainable Cities.

He has been PI, work package leader and participant in more than 60 research projects as well as editorial board member of The Journal of Energy Storage (Elsevier) and The Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water & Environment Systems; Associate Editor of Energy, Ecology and Environment (Springer) and Editor of the International Journal of Sustainable Energy Planning and Management. Recently he started the new Elsevier Journal Smart Energy. Furthermore, he is a member of The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) and a board member at The Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP).Furthermore, he is a member of The Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV) and a board member at The Danish Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP).