Intelligence in Electricity Networks for Embedding Renewables and Distributed Generation
Over the course of the 20 th century, the electrical power systems of industrialized economies have become one of the most complex systems created by mankind. In the same period, electricity made a transition from a novelty, to a convenience, to an advantage, and finally to an absolute necessity. World-wide electricity use has been ever-growing. The electricity infrastructure consists of two highlyinterrelated and complex subsystems for commodity trade and physical delivery. To ensure the
... tructure is up and running in the first place, the increasing electricity demand poses a serious threat. Additionally, there are a number of other trends that are forcing a change in infrastructure management. Firstly, there is a shift to intermittent sources: a larger share of renewables in the energy mix means a higher influence of weather patterns on generation. At the same time, introducing more combined heat and power generation (CHP) couples electricity production to heat demand patterns. Secondly, the location of electricity generation relative to the load centers is changing. Large-scale generation from wind is migrating towards and into the seas and oceans, away from the locations of high electricity demand. On the other hand, with the increase of distributed generators (DG) the generation capacity embedded in the (medium and low voltage) distribution networks is rising. This form of generation is relatively small in individual capacities, but (very) high in numbers. Due to these developments, intelligent distributed coordination will be essential to ensure this critical infrastructure runs efficiently in the future. As compared to traditional grids, operated in a top-down manner, these novel grids will require bottom-up control. As field test results have shown, intelligent distributed coordination can be beneficial to both energy trade and active network management. In future electricity infrastructures, these functions need to be combined in a dualobjective coordination mechanism. In order to exert this type of control, alignment of power systems with communication network technology as well as computer hardware and software in shared information architectures will be necessary.