Keywords: Internet of things, Big Data, Blockchain, Predictive analysis, …


The global energy system includes four large sectors (electricity, heat, transport, and chemical feedstock). Up until now, each of these sectors has had its own dynamics, which means they are all operated independently, with few interactions in between them. The upcoming energy transition and decarbonization* of the system can only succeed when bridges are created between the different sectors to create one integrated and more efficient energy system.

The port of Antwerp is a perfect illustration of a close area where the four different sectors of the energy systems come together. To incorporate large volumes of unpredictable and volatile renewable energy into this energy system, flexibility in different sectors needs to be activated.


For example: Charging of electric cars when the sun shines. This solution is a bridge between the electricity and the transport sector and can avoid congestion on the local electricity grid when there is a lot of renewable energy production.


In the port, there are numerous assets that have the potential to be operated in a flexible way: heating & cooling installations, electric cars, electric forklifts, and more. In the same area, there is also potential for large amounts of renewable energy (solar & wind). This variable energy production will highly challenge the operation of the electricity grid. How would you develop an algorithm that uses flexibility in the system to reinforce the electricity grid? Can the flexible asset (e.g., an electric car) decide correctly by itself how to operate (when to charge)?  The decision should be based on straightforward and real-time parameters such as: weather conditions, voltage/frequency on grid, and port activity, among others. The goals should be to increase system efficiency and better integration of renewable energy. The final answer may be the necessary number of electric cars to integrate a specific amount of solar energy on the local grid.

Can you expose other synergies between two or more sectors in the energy system in a port-specific environment? What about process heat and the interaction between steam generation, electricity production, electric heating, and renewable energy? Can you develop a similar operating algorithm for these assets to utilize them in a more sustainable way?


  • Energy producing companies

  • Distribution networks

  • Production companies

  • Companies throughout the port

  • Port authority



  • Energy producing companies, distribution networks, production companies, companies throughout the port, port authority

  • Academic (high schools / universities)


*Decarbonization: Reducing the carbon intensity of the power sector; that is, the emissions per unit of electricity generated (often given in grams of CO2 per kWh)


Do you have an interesting challenge related to this topic? Please let us know and we will take it into consideration!

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