Recently, there has been a rapid growth in Renewable Energy Sources (RES) such as photovoltaics (PV)
Updated: Jan 21, 2022
at the premises of end users, which is highly relevant for the strive towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). “To address the volatile nature of RES, we aim at developing fully distributed novel paradigm empowering P2P flexibility approaches that are able to optimise the usage of demand-response (DR) as well as RES,” Pouttu says. “We will then integrate them with the local power grid – a local virtual power plant.”
The team also develops advanced peer-to-peer (P2P) multi-agent or machine learning based DR-based frequency and voltage control methodologies. They allow local trading of energy and inclusion of accurate weather and power consumption data. As a result, flexibility of usage between prosumers increases inside a microgrid, consisting for example of sustainable communities in remote or developing areas as well as of microgrid operators and DSO/TSO for grid-connected microgrids in developed areas.
The 5G/6G solution, which is also powered through RES in remote areas, provides the backbone both for communications and computing for the information exchange which is required for maintaining such grids. “The ultimate goal is to integrate and intertwine the solutions on flexibility management, grid control, energy trading and distributed wireless communications into an environment that can demonstrate renewable generation penetration approaching 100%,” Pouttu says and adds that first demonstrations should be realised in the summer given that COVID-19 permits.
Obviously, the most straightforward areas where this kind of technologies can be exploited are remote and developing areas where grid availability is low. However, with the increasing usage of household level microgeneration, even the “modern” grids of developed areas need to be adjusted to the increasing share of volatile RES generation. This, however, will happen gradually and may take several tens of years.
“The solution itself can be built in a hierarchical manner from household level to microgrid, to distribution grid, and all the way to transmission grid making the solution scalable and more importantly resilient,” Pouttu says. “On the other hand, large investments to our current mostly centralized power grid makes the penetration of these technologies rather slow, but it does offer an avenue to integrate gradually large amount of microgeneration into our future carbon positive power system.”