The grid and the city of tomorrow are being prepared today! Here are just a few examples of the innovations our teams are working on.
Smart public lighting
Like Paris, London and Copenhagen, the Brussels public lighting network is gradually being fitted out with connected or "smart" light points.
Not only are they remotely controllable and able to communicate in real time on their operating status, these connected light points will also allow an even more efficient management of public lighting, with Brussels residents reaping the benefits.
The advantages of smart public lighting in brief
- Even more energy savings
- Less light pollution
- A faster and more targeted response in the event of failure
- A reduced sense of insecurity
- Possibility of adjusting the setting of a particular light point
Reducing CO2 emissions from street lighting
Thanks to more precise programming of each luminaire, smart lighting will make it possible to cut electricity consumption in Brussels by 20% by 2035.
4000 tonnes of CO2 per year will be saved thanks to smart street lighting. This is the equivalent of driving a diesel car around the world 600 times each year!
Reduction of light pollution
The programming of the lighting into "light bubbles", which accompany pedestrians and cyclists on their journey, means that continuous lighting is no longer required.
Less light pollution is a frequent request from citizens, especially in eco-districts.
Un éclairage plus respectueux de la biodiversité
In collaboration with Natagora, Brussels Environment and the Brussels municipalities, Sibelga is carrying out tests to adapt the colour of public lighting in order to reduce its impact on nocturnal fauna.
Places that are essential to urban biodiversity, such as the Sonian Forest, the Rouge Cloître in Auderghem or the Avenue du Sacré-Cœur in Jette, are equipped with orange LED night lighting, which is more favourable to bats in particular.
As part of Good Move, its regional mobility plan, the Brussels government is eager to promote the deployment of electric vehicles.
Sibelga has been entrusted by the Brussels government with organising the concession for the terminals and ensuring that deployment complies with the regional objectives, by facilitating coordination between the various stakeholders in the field, for instance.
Electric charging stations for all
With the rise of electric vehicles in Brussels, the demand for recharging solutions is increasing. To cater to the needs of the people of Brussels, Sibelga ensures that the recharging service is accessible to all.
Eleven thousand charging stations will be installed in Brussels by 2035. Their location is designed to ensure that every inhabitant of Brussels has access to a charging point within 250 metres of their home.
Innovative charging solutions
Sibelga is installing some charging stations directly on public lighting poles! This solution allows costs to be kept to a minimum and limits urban congestion.
The first charging station on a public lighting pole was installed on Avenue Charles Thielemans in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. This allows a 20 km recharge in only 30 minutes!
Greening of public utility vehicles
Via a market place, Sibelga facilitates access for public authorities to commercial vehicles using alternative fuels and to the installation of electric charging stations. These vehicles are less polluting and help to improve air quality for all Brussels residents.
In October 2021, 44 public authorities in Brussels were signed-up members of the market place!
Hydrogen has real potential for energy transition. Despite being very light, this gas can actually release a whole lot of energy: One kilogramme of hydrogen releases three times more energy than one kilogramme of petrol.
What’s more, it has the particularity of being able to be produced from electricity, without CO2 emissions.
All this makes green hydrogen a particularly attractive way of storing the electricity produced in surplus by solar panels.
To test the potential of green hydrogen
In partnership with John Cockerill and Fluxys, Sibelga is testing various hydrogen applications at its Anderlecht site.
To reflect on the role of green hydrogen in Europe
Sibelga is a member of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance and co-chairs a round table discussion on green hydrogen applications in the residential sector.
Pilot projects include the production of green hydrogen using solar electricity from on-site solar panels, local hydrogen storage and injection into an experimental gas network.
In the future, green hydrogen could, for example, be used to heat entire districts via urban heating networks!
Essential to the energy transition, smart meters allow Sibelga to manage the network with greater accuracy and flexibility. They also allow you to monitor your energy consumption in real time and make savings!
Smart meters are gradually being rolled out on the Brussels network, but their use is not yet widespread. Sibelga is taking the necessary time to test the different solutions to ensure efficient and secure deployment.
Supporting low-income customers
In partnership with the Brussels PCSWs, an application for monitoring consumption, linked to a smart meter, has been installed in 100 Brussels low-income households. This smartphone application gives them access to daily monitoring of their consumption, both in kWh and in euros. They can also see where they stand in relation to their budget and the consumption of a household of equivalent size.
If this application proves to be effective, it could be offered to all Brussels residents in the future!
Facilitating access to green energy for all
Smart meters pave the way for energy communities. These allow owners of solar panels to share the electricity they produce with a community of neighbours at an attractive rate. This will facilitate access to green energy for all and help meet climate targets.
Green energy laboratory
To explore the possibilities offered by new technologies, Sibelga is keen to use its site as a fully-fledged experimental laboratory.
Testing a smart flower
This flower-shaped photovoltaic system has solar panels on its "petals". Thanks to a system that tracks the sun, the panels are automatically oriented to maximise production.
Installing a micro-grid
The Sibelga site operates with its own internal electricity network to which all its green energy production is connected: solar panels, cogeneration units, etc. Through smart systems, the aim is to eventually optimise consumption according to the energy available to reduce our carbon footprint.
An experimental hub
Before deploying new technologies on its network or in the public space, Sibelga tests them on its own site to check their effectiveness, robustness and performance.
In 2020, 38 test charging stations for electric vehicles were installed on the Sibelga site. In the same vein, a comparison of smart lighting management solutions was carried out on site.