Welcome to EITA-New Green Energy 2013
The Annual **EITA New Green Energy ** Workshop
(EITA-New Green Energy 2013)
"Powering Our Future - The Coming Energy Revolution"
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, U.S.A.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
"Energy is a basic human need and makes the world go round. Without energy, everything would come to a standstill. It is indispensable to foster human development and economic growth with a secure, affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy supply. Today we are facing huge challenges: global warming, depleting natural resources, population growth, increasing energy demand, rising energy prices and unequal distribution of energy sources. All of these factors contribute to the urgent need to transform the energy sector, which primarily relies on fossil fuels, to one that uses renewable energies and energy efficient technologies." - International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
We live in a world of cyberspace, biomedical engineering and other mind-boggling technologies. Yet when it comes to energy, our decades-old coal- and oil-based energy systems barely change. Developments around the world are already proving them wrong. However, we may soon witness the most dramatic changes in the world energy economy in a hundred years. Governments worldwide are encouraging the development of renewable sources of electrical energy. Many of these governments are taking measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels for transportation and heating and are thus likely to increase the proportion of energy that is consumed in electrical form.
There are two different ways of reducing the fossil fuel consumption - either using renewable energy sources or using nuclear power. However, renewable energy sources are environmental friendly but inefficient in electrical power generation. Nuclear power is very efficient but contains the fear of radiation pollution. All these factors have led to different R&D efforts to use distributed generation systems to form micro-grids and a large level penetration of renewable energy sources.
The world’s electric power utilities are facing their most serious crisis since their inception a century ago. Aging infrastructure, increasing peak demand for electricity and raising concerns for the industry’s environmental impacts have made it crucially important to improve how the power grid manages electricity. The open, standards-based smart grid, the power grid of the future, is one of humanity's boldest visions. It turns the current electrical network that has thousands of transmission substations, large substations for distribution, and public and private owners into a shared, interoperable network that communicates intelligently and works efficiently, similar in concept to the way the Internet works today. Smart grid technologies will enable energy conservation, increased operational efficiencies and a more resilient mix of energy sources at a reasonable cost while maintaining the reliability of the electricity supply at the level to which we have grown accustomed.
The smart grid will use new long-distance, extra-high voltage transmission lines (a national “electric superhighway”) to deliver the bulk of clean power generated by the remote gigantic wind farms on land and offshore, and the enormous solar fields in the deserts and the areas that have an abundance of sun in the years to come. Consumers and companies are installing solar panels and small wind turbines on their roofs or small power plants in their basements. The highly efficient mini power plants (co-generation) provide heat and electricity and also feed back any excess power to the smart grid, providing a profit to the user. Two-way connected standards-based smart meters will be installed in every home. They will be able to measure real-time electricity distribution both inside households and in the power grid. Smart meters use broadband wireless networking (e.g., Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE) to shuttle information back and forth between utilities and customers. They are paving the way for tools and services that make the system more responsive to shifts in energy demands.
Power supplies are likely to be radically decentralized (distributed generation) in the coming decades. The smart grid will be a network of integrated smart micro-grids: geographically compact units capable of running autonomously from the main grid. Each micro-grid will be capable of load side management, peak-shaving, power conservation and integration of local renewable energy generation (market-based power system generation scheduling process). A (futuristic design concept) network of thousands (or millions) of decentralized mini power plants (micro-grids and virtual power plants) -- comprised of diesel generation systems, solar PV generations units, wind turbine systems, fuel cell based power generation systems etc. -- will be able to quickly pool resources to produce mass quantities of energy to compensate for fluctuations in other supplies, like wind power if the wind dies down. All the power generation units are interfaced using different power electronic converters at different stages to efficiently distribute the total generated power in the overall grid. If there is some localized fault in one of the parts of the micro-grid, that part of distribution or transmission line can be isolated and still the power supply to the rest of the micro-grid can be maintained.
Energy storage devices (e.g., lithium-ion battery) will be deployed in electric vehicles (EVs) in the future. It will enable electric vehicles to download energy from a plug when plenty is available. And if an electric vehicle isn't in operation and there is a shortage of energy, the electric vehicles will also be capable of feeding electricity back into the smart grid. The smart grid without energy storage is like a computer without a hard drive: severely limited. Energy stored throughout the grid can provide power to address peak power needs, decreasing the use of expensive plants that utilities power up as a last resort when demand spikes, making the network less volatile. In the way that computers and the infrastructure of the Internet have built up around storage as a key component, so will the power grid eventually rely on energy storage technology (wide-area energy storage and management system) as a pivotal piece. Energy storage technologies (e.g., compressed air, pumped hydro, molten-salt technology, lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells, etc.) can strengthen grid stability, reduce frequency and duration of operational disruptions, and increase efficiencies.
More intelligent energy consumption will also help to compensate for fluctuations in the power grid. Smart meters will pave the way for real-time pricing, where energy is priced at different rates depending on the time of day and how much demand there is for the electricity. Utilities can use real-time pricing to better manage the loads on the grid, while home owners can use it to cut their monthly energy bills. For example, intelligent appliances are saving energy in our homes: washers, dryers and refrigerators that communicate with each other wash, dry or cool when electricity is cheapest. The dream of a smart grid, where every household appliance is networked (i.e., home area network) and able to communicate with the power grid, and consumers can do things like adjusting their thermostats using a mobile phone, rests on universal Internet connectivity. Decentralized energy-producing units and household appliances would be organized by a central energy management system in each home (Intelligent Green Building).
Digital network intelligence is added to the power grid of the future, making electricity more like the Internet. In order to keep the network -- comprised of thousands (or millions) of mini power plants stable -- from collapsing, millions of end-appliances and home management systems will constantly be able to share data or commands. The power grid itself will also be equipped with advanced information technology (i.e., wireless sensor networking technology, software, computing) that will be able to measure demand and production in real time. The deployment of all modern energy technologies will rise or fall based on the construction of a communications network that can deal with mass amounts of real-time data and transport them using Internet Protocols. The smart grid is the backbone of the new infrastructure. The smart grid could promote innovation in energy, just as the Internet did in computing. The Information Age is arriving at a new level: It's becoming the New Electricity Age.
Ultimately we need smart grid technology because as the population grows the demand for electricity will only increase, but we need to cut our electricity consumption to fight global warming. The world consumes 14 trillion watts (14 terawatts) of energy every day. In another 50 years, we’re going to need 28 terawatts. Where are we going to find another 14? We would have to turn on a new 1,000-megawatt power plant tomorrow, another the next day, and on and on, one a day for the next 40 years to get another 14 terawatts.
In this workshop we will focus on understanding of the control, production, transmission and consumption of electrical energy by developing models, devices and software for faster and more accurate analysis. The workshop will also address CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage), and the energy systems that tap into inexhaustible, ubiquitous, and clean sources of energy generation, such as solar, wind (NOTE: the wind and solar forecast errors may significantly impact the power system generation scheduling process), biomass (i.e., plant matter such as trees, grasses, agricultural residue, algae, and other biological material), ocean (i.e., wave energy, tidal energy, ocean thermal energy conversion), and geothermal, but also including non-conventional avenues such as methane clathrate, radiant energy, cold nuclear fusion, magnet motors, etc. and their integration within the modern electrical grid and community - from ultra-high-voltage transmission systems to medium- and low-voltage distribution grids.
This is the website of the EITA New Green Energy 2013 Workshop to be held in August, 2013. Details will follow later ......
Download the theme description - the EITA-New Green Energy 2013 (PDF).