OIC 2018: Improve electricity forecasting

Winning solution

The British start-up PowerMarket has won the second edition of the Open Innovation Challenge and received €20,000 to carry out a proof of concept in collaboration with the Elia Group. The Group aims to use this international start-up competition to develop innovative solutions to improve the quality of its consumption and generation forecasts. PowerMarket convinced the jury with its solution that automatically detects solar panels and thus more accurately maps the solar energy predictions.

PowerMarket was chosen from among the five finalists. Its solution can be used to better estimate power generation from solar panels. By using both satellite images and artificial intelligence, PowerMarket can very accurately identify the exact location of solar panels and their installed capacities. These valuable data can then be combined with meteorological data to estimate solar energy for every hour and every day of the year. Accurate forecasting reduces the need to activate reserves and, as a result, prevents activation costs.

135 entries from 38 countries

Selected from among 135 contenders, PowerMarket received €20,000 to carry out a proof of concept in collaboration with Elia. The start-ups Watt-IS and Adaptix by Sensewaves came second and third respectively and received tickets for the European Utility Week.

Top 3 winners of the 2nd edition of Elia Open Innovation Challenge

Rising to the challenges of the energy transition

The Open Innovation Challenge is open to start-ups from across the world and gives them a chance to present their solution for coping with one of the many challenges of the energy transition. By holding this competition, which aims to develop solutions for improving electricity generation and consumption forecasts, the Elia Group is trying to accelerate innovation by creating synergies with start-ups or SMEs. As an electricity transmission system operator, the Elia Group is responsible for keeping the electricity system balanced at all times. This requires accurate forecasts on expected generation and consumption for the coming minutes, days, weeks and even years. When Elia anticipates a shortage or surplus of energy, it has to restore the balance to avoid damaging the grid and the assets connected to it.

The development of new generation units that are increasingly dependent on weather conditions, and the changing consumption habits of grid users (e.g. solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicles) make forecasting extremely complicated. In Belgium, Elia estimates that the installed capacity of solar power could rise from 3.3 GW to 18 GW by 2040. Thanks to this British start-up’s solution, Elia will be able to build and keep up to date its own database of photovoltaic facilities.

Meet the winner!


Our partners for this challenge


Information details

Who can participate

Registration deadline
25th March 2018

Status of challenge

The challenge is closed.

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