The Paris Climate Agreement and the Role of the Smart Grid
By Panos Moutis
In December 2015, nearly 200 countries came together in Paris, France to agree on further promoting practices that reduce emissions resulting from the energy, building and industry sectors. This agreement is one of the many regional and international ones that have been elaborated on throughout the years. One may recall the Kyoto protocol, the European directives at the dawn of the 21st century, the 2015 plan of the Indian government to heavily promote renewables (as covered in the May issue of the Newsletter) and others. All of them marked clearly one common point: the center stage role that the smart grid needs to play to accommodate all these disruptive upgrades in the aforementioned sectors.
The June 2018 issue of the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter offers a glimpse of what that role is and how it may be described from three different but equally important perspectives.
The experts who contributed their thoughts and ideas talk to us about:
- The Interoperability Strategic Vision whitepaper: Issued by the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium in March, the 20-page paper describes the desired future state of an interoperable grid, how that vision can be applied to integrating distributed energy resources (DERs), and which tools and techniques can be used to advance that vision.
- A new microgrid concept where a small commercial community can participate in a microgrid. Developed by Stantec, the concept aims to provide resiliency, energy cost reduction and energy cost certainty in a setting that could be replicated across North America and beyond.
- The various factors that should be considered in the planning phase of the smart grid’s sustainable energy systems due to the high level of risk associated with green energy investment, including:
- Uncertain parameters: Modeling the uncertainties associated with the various input parameters of the system.
- Demand response program: Enabling the active customers to participate in the energy management of the system.
- Policy intervention: Implementation of a policy intervention in support of private sector participation in renewable energy investment.
It is very interesting to notice that the three articles in this issue take on the matter from the conceptual perspective, the view of a regulated path forward that can facilitate replicability, and the cost-benefit assessment aspect that ensures the viability of the smart grid paradigms at hand. Hence, as a side-note that one should take out of this issue, is that there is a thread running from idea to commercialization, which ensures that from any starting point we need to work together in the smart grid community to bring to fruition our long-term aspirations.
Panayiotis (Panos) Moutis, Managing Editor of the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter, is a postdoctoral research associate at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, and a technical consultant with 10 years of experience on Renewable Energy Sources investments in Greece. He has published more than 15 papers on topics concerning the management and control of distributed generation and storage resources based on various smart grid paradigms. In 2013, he won the “IEEE Sustainability 360o Contest” on the topic of Power, and in 2014 he was awarded a fellowship by Arup (through the University of Greenwich, UK) on the “Research Challenge of Balancing Urban Microgrids in Future Planned Communities." Between 2007 and 2015 he contributed in over a dozen R&D projects funded by the European Commission. Panos received both his diploma and his PhD degrees in electrical & computer engineering at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. His research interests lie in the field of virtual power plants, microgrids, distributed resources integration and application of artificial intelligence to power system management and control. He is a senior member of the IEEE Power & Energy Society, IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society and IEEE Computer Society.
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