Optimisation of Community Scale Renewables

A very successful conference was held in Politecnico di Torino on 24th September 2015 showcasing a number of European  research projects  working in the optimisation of renewable energy arena including ORIGIN, EpicHub, EINSTEIN, RESILIENT, TRIBE and Empowering.


Energy Clock

One of the gadgets on the ORIGIN user interface is a clock highlighting the renewable surplus over the next 12 hours ( green highlights a surplus). The ORIGIN research team has now made an actual clock which glows green when a surplus is forecast. This physical  clock is being trialled in Findhorn in the laundry to alert community members as to when is the optimum time (in terms of maximising the use of renewable energy)  to do their washing.


Local Energy Challange funding

Researchers from Heriot Watt  working in a consortium led by Changeworks have been successfil in being awarded phase 1 Local Energy Challenge funding to build on  the weather forecasting algorithms developed in ORIGIN  with the aim to increase the benefits of local low carbon energy economies to urban communities through a participatory demand management system which aims to reduce the price of electricity for people within communities during periods of renewable generation availability.

Harnessing Community Energies - Findhorn June 4th

On June 4th 2015, ORIGIN hosted a collaborative conference ‘Harnessing Community Energies - Optimising the Benefits of Renewable Energy’ in the beautiful and relaxed setting of the Findhorn ecovillage, one of the ORIGIN demonstration sites . European and UK funed projects looking at the challenges of integrating renewables and engaging people in changing ’energy’ behaviour  were featured.

Energy security - Scottish Parliament May 20th

Dr Edward Owens, PI of the ORIGIN project, was  invited to debate Energy Security at the Scottish Parliament on 20th May 2015  watch via

Examples of the Dashboard

Findhorn Dashboard including tariff gadgets

This  is a screen shot of the Findhorn end user interface showing energy and weather information. It also highlights the tariff for the 30th April 2015 and shows that an individual dwelling has saved £6 since the tariff experiment went live and the whole community has saved £307.20. The current availability of renewables is shown by the galloping horse.

Damanhur dashboard

Tariff experiment in Findhorn and end user interface development

Residents in Findhorn can now make the most of a cheaper tariff which is available when excess local renewable energy is available. It will be very interesting to see how people's energy behaviour changes. Also, development on the ORIGIN end user interface is ongoing. The resaerch team have been working with the 3 demonstartion communities to make the end user vibrant and engaging, The latest development has been a horse to visually show renewable energy availability currently.The faster the horse  is moving the more renewable energy availability.

End of Year 2

If you would like to find out more about the progress of the project then please have a look at the summary report below.

ORIGIN launch

ORIGIN has now been launched at all 3 communities. The project team is now very excited to see how the communities can use the information to better utilise their own renewable generation


ORIGIN at Dynamic Earth Edinburgh

As part of the European Researchers' night held on the 26th September 2014, ORIGIN partcipated in a ' Meet the Expert' session at Dynamic Earth In Edinburgh. Dr Joel Chaney demonstrated a simple model of the ' ORIGIN' system to  over 700 people .