Michael is a physicist with post-graduate studies in technical and policy aspects of the energy field. He has over 15 years professional experience as a senior project manager in research projects with extensive experience in H2020, IEE, FP7 and FP6 projects. His field of work covers issues like the integration of renewable energy into the grid, applications of renewable energy for water treatment and research in new technologies like salinity gradient power.
His work as project manager of the RES4BUILD project includes ensuring progress is in line with the budget and the schedule, overall strategic project guidance, project administration and fulfilling all contractual and reporting obligations.
What was it that drew you to the project and/or the topic?
We have been working for over 10 years in direct application of renewable energy to provide services such as desalination. The opportunity to apply renewable energy solutions directly at the building level was exciting as more than 40% of the energy in Europe is used in buildings, allowing us to address a much larger market and have a real impact in society.
What makes this project necessary?
A lot of progress has been achieved in developing renewable energy technologies to generate electricity. The result is that the costs have reduced significantly, and we see now important shares of electricity coming from solar or wind installations. This is a good development, but it highlights two limitations: Firstly, the renewable heating and cooling sector is left behind and secondly the challenges imposed to the grid by the variable nature of the solar and wind resources are becoming more obvious.
Can you explain how the project is addressing these challenges?
The RES4BUILD project is managing to address both challenges together: By introducing heat pumps, the heating and cooling demand can be covered efficiently through electricity rather than requiring the combustion of fossil fuels. And by including simple, low-cost hot water storage tanks, the electricity can be used when it is available, for example when the sun is shining. RES4BUILD goes further by combining innovative technologies that improve the performance of the heat pumps and developing innovative control strategies that maximise the electricity use flexibility in the building.
What do you think people should understand better about integrating renewable energy solutions?
In our view, people are ready to embrace green technologies. It is our challenge to deliver simple workable solutions. For that reason we work in case studies together with end-users in order to understand how they perceive our solutions, adapting the developed system to suit their needs.