The RESPONDENT Project: An Interview With Effie Makri, Coordinator of the Project

Renewable Energy Magazine recently had the opportunity to speak with Effie Makri, the VP of Research and Innovation with Future Intelligence Ltd. (FINT) in Athens, Greece, and the Project Coordinator of the RESPONDENT project, about upcoming projects and the connection between the RESPONDENT project and space technologies. 
The RESPONDENT Project: An Interview With Effie Makri, Coordinator of the Project
Effie Makri

Led by FINT, the RESPONDENT consortium consists of experts in the fields of energy transition, information and communication technologies, construction, research, and more, made up of eight partner organizations from three countries across Europe.

REM: First off, can you explain what the RESPONDENT project is?

Makri: The RESPONDENT project is an exciting initiative under the Horizon Europe program. Managed by the EU Agency for the Space Program on behalf of the European Commission, the project is aimed at enhancing the integration of renewable energy sources into Europe’s power grids.

REM: Can you tell us what makes the RESPONDENT Project unique?

Makri: It is our innovative use of European space technologies, specifically the Copernicus EO services and Galileo Timing and Synchronization service, to optimize power forecasting and grid management. Essentially, we’re combining advanced AI, machine learning, and satellite data to improve the accuracy of renewable energy predictions and ensure a stable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply in an era when energy independence is crucial for Europe.

REM: You’ve said that RESPONDENT should be described as a “space project” rather than a renewable energy project – why is that?

Makri: Great question! While RESPONDENT is indeed focused on a greater integration of renewable energy across Europe, what makes it particularly unique is our reliance on European space technologies that I mentioned earlier, and how these can be of benefit to the energy sector

We're utilizing Earth Observation data from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service for precise weather forecasting, and Galileo for accurate timing and synchronisation; space-based technologies that we believe are crucial for optimizing the integration and management of renewable energy sources into the power grid.

So, calling it a "space project" really highlights the innovative, cutting-edge tools we're using to tackle the challenges in renewable energy.

REM: I see from some of your recent social media posts that RESPONDENT has its first pilot demonstration this October in Greece. Can you tell us a little about that?

Makri: Indeed, our first pilot demonstration will take place in mid-October at project partner Kiefer's solar PV park in Greece, just outside of Athens. This really will be a cumulative moment for the RESPONDENT project, as it will be our first opportunity to showcase the innovative RES power forecasting technology that our project proposes in a real-world setting.

REM: Why is the pilot project so crucial?

Makri: Our pilot demonstrations will be crucial for a few reasons. First, they allow us to test and validate our solutions in actual operating conditions, rather than just in a lab or theoretical environment. This helps us ensure that our technology works as expected when integrated into the power grid.

Second, the demonstrations will provide us with valuable data and feedback that we can use to refine and improve our solutions.

Lastly, they give us a chance to show stakeholders and the broader energy community the practical benefits of our work, helping to build support and interest in our project.

REM: Anything else you would like to add?

Makri: The upcoming pilot in Greece is not just a test; it’s a key step in proving the effectiveness and reliability of RESPONDENT’s solutions that will help pave the way for their wider adoption and implementation across Europe.

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