The International Forum on Smart Grids for Smart Cities 2018 - A Success!
By Geert Deconinck
Worldwide, the convergence of data and energy infrastructures is used to enable a better life for the citizens in smart cities. Smart grids show to be a real enabler of such cities, by integrating a high penetration of renewable energy, facilitating electric transport, allowing smart buildings and empowering the end-user in the energy scene; altogether creating a sustainable lifestyle for the eco-aware 21st century citizen.
However, all these prospected transitions and transformations bring numerous challenges and opportunities, both at industrial, academic and policy level.
In order to address some of these questions, IEEE Smart Grid, in collaboration with KU Leuven/EnergyVille has gathered experts from many different backgrounds in this second IEEE International Forum on Smart Grids for Smart Cities, that took place in Genk, Belgium from 26th to 28th November 2018.
This premier event was hosted at the unique and symbolic location of Thor Park, in the same buildings where 30 years ago the last coal was mined. Coal was the black gold for this region. This site is successfully making the energy transition towards green gold, where renewable energy is researched in the two research buildings of EnergyVille and where many new related companies and organisations flourish. This site breaths entrepreneurship and couples the good old infrastructures in a 21st century fashion! The 2nd International IEEE Forum on Smart Grids for Smart Cities has been a fine success. It has attracted more than 120 participants from 20 countries from all 5 continents.
We had two interesting tutorials, three fascinating keynote speakers and twelve very interactive panel sessions, featuring more than 50 notable speakers, each providing a unique international perspective on technology, applications, standards and policy pertaining to Smart Grids as enablers for Smart Cities and other Smart Community solutions.
The event not only hosted many different viewpoints, but it also provided many smart networking opportunities for smart people. They enjoyed the coffee and lunch breaks, but even more the welcome reception in the Grande Salle of Thor Park, and the nice dinner in the ‘busbar room’ of the old coal mine facilities, as well as the visits to EnergyVille. This report contains the highlights of the forum. It is organized per session – so that one will remember the main messages delivered and will be able to tackle the major challenges that await us. All presentations are available at the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center.
Geert Deconinck is full professor at KU Leuven University (Belgium). His research focuses on robust distributed coordination and control, specifically in the context of smart electric distribution networks. Specific interests include smart grids, smart metering, distributed control, robust system design, sustainability, industry 4.0, infrastructure interdependencies and dependability modelling, all in a context of energy and communication infrastructures. Both simulation and experimental validation are key.
Since April 2012, he is head of the research group ELECTA (Electrical Energy and Computing Architectures) at the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT), which consists of 6 professors, 8 postdoctoral researchers, 50+ PhD students and 12 administrative and technical staff. ELECTA focuses on different research aspects related to electrical energy (smart distribution grids, electric power systems, HVDC, power electronics, techno-economic analysis of energy markets, etc.), from fundamental research to applications in collaboration with industry.
He is active in the research centre EnergyVille, the research centre on energy for sustainable cities, where he is scientific leader for the research domain algorithms, modelling, optimisation’, applied to smart electrical and thermal networks. Since October 2016, he is head of the KU Leuven division EnergyVille. He received his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering (maxima cum laude) and his Ph.D. in Engineering Science (summa cum laude) from the KU Leuven, Belgium in 1991 and 1996 respectively. He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) (M2006, F2013), co-chair of the IEEE SMC Technical Committee on Infrastructure Systems and Services, a senior member of the IEEE and of the IEEE Reliability, Computer, SMC and Power & Energy Societies (sM 1988, M 1996, SM 2000), National representative for Belgium on Cigré SC C6 (active distribution systems and distributed energy resources) and member of KBVE and ie-net.