Nikos D. Hatziargyriou
Nikos D. Hatziargyriou is Chairman of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Smart Network for the Energy Transition (ETIP SNET).
Since April 2015, he is Chairman and CEO of the Hellenic Distribution Network Operator S.A. (HEDNO S.A.).
He holds the position of full professor in Power Systems at the Power Division of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), director of the Energy Systems Laboratory and founder of the SmartRue research unit.
He is Fellow Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), past Chairman of the Power System Dynamic Performance Committee (PSDP), honorary member of CIGRE, Chairman of the strategic CIGRE WG Networks of the Future and past Chairman of CIGRE SC C6 Distribution Systems and Dispersed Generation.
He is one of the top 1% most cited researchers of 2016 and 2017.
Smart grids are at the centre of this emerging system; with digitalisation they will help to articulate new energy environments. It should be also noted that the smart energy system of the future will not happen in silo. It will connect – digitally and physically – different types of energy and transport networks (electricity, gas, heat and so on).
New digital services will be developed, integrated platforms will be established, and protocols will need to be devised.
- New markets (storage, demand response, smart charging)
- New opportunities offered by net metering, virtual power plants, microgrids
- Smoother integration of renewables
- Boost in energy efficiency
- More efficient grid operation, planning and asset management through smart networks
- Local authorities and communities to become smart cities and regions
Customers will benefit from new ways of managing and adding value to their consumption, becoming prosumers via local generation. Citizens will also benefit from open data, with their privacy protected by regulation. Open data will foster corporate transparency for citizens and societies.
'Customers will benefit from new ways of managing and adding value to their consumption, becoming prosumers via local generation. Above all, everyone can benefit from new opportunities.'
For instance, on generation forecasting, improved forecasting tools lead to more efficient operation of the grid, in combination with demand-side management, reactive power injection and dynamic line rating. In this field, the SWIFT project has shown that it is possible to connect a wind farm without a costly grid upgrade. This helps to increase the reliability of supply and the penetration of renewable energy sources, reducing OPEX and CAPEX costs, and ultimately improving the quality of service.
Concerning 'network planning and operations', improved digital options can allow the network to be operated smartly, using Information Technology (IT) & Operational Technology (OT) integration, Big Data and Predictive Services. There are also new models for transmission & distribution networks and power generators’ assets with data-driven business models and technology-driven customer engagement. Benefits are manifold, including: increased reliability of supply, reduced cost of operations, improved quality of service, reduced CAPEX investments, real-time fault detection, isolation and restoration reducing the number and duration of outages, deferred grid upgrades, flexible demand, and increased renewable energy penetration.
Some key projects in this area are:
- The STAR grid project dealing with grid management at LV and MV level
- The iTesla project addressing electrical system security within large areas
- The GRID4EU German demonstrator on autonomous grid reconfiguration and forecasting in the MV grid
- The GRID4EU Swedish demonstrator focused on meter data management for network operation in the LV grid
- The NOBEL GRID project working on advanced tools and ICT services for DSOs, in their role as market facilitators
- The Servo Platform interfacing demand side management with DSO needs
Digitalisation can also be useful to enable regulators and retailers to access data collected and managed by market facilitators. Some projects, such as the Smarter EMC2 project, have shown how to empower market actors better through ICT technologies. The IDE4L project has developed digital tools for the technical and commercial aggregators to help integrate flexible demand in the market and to take grid constraints into account in market operation.
'The communication layer is one of the pillars of the smart energy system, enabling system observability, monitoring, control and protection, and specifically enabling a radical change in the relation between the final user and the energy system.'
Customer participation in the market becomes possible with Big Data and IoT (Internet of Things), which have already entered the field. Smart devices have been developed to help utilities to understand and anticipate customer behaviour, and storage assets and EVs can contribute to better grid management and more effective DER integration. Three projects have shown interesting results:
- The Linear project on dynamic pricing and SmartHouse/Smartgrid project on residential demand response,
- The FINESCE project on smart charging of electric vehicles
- The COOPERATE project on neighbourhood energy management
Finally, actors are working on enabling flexibility by leveraging electronic market places, by providing data facilitated by market operators (e.g. DSOs); these can be used by other commercial parties to facilitate their market operation. Relevant projects aiming to design an adequate market model for stakeholder interaction are FINESCE, Flexiciency and eBadge.
'The widespread use of digital technologies must, however, be accompanied by suitable measures for data and information protection from malicious intrusions and attacks (cybersecurity), and from uncontrolled use of customer data (data privacy).'
A good overview of these projects, and their contribution to the digitalisation of the energy system, can be found in the ETP Smartgrids report, The Digital Energy System 4.0, published in May 2016. This report addresses the use and impact of ICT as a pervasive tool along the entire value chain of power generation, transportation and use. The communication layer is one of the pillars of the smart energy system, enabling system observability, monitoring, control and protection, and specifically enabling a radical change in the relation between the final user and the energy system. It also describes new digital tools linked to the Internet of Things, from smart meters to social networks that aim to promote customer participation at all stages of the development and expansion of the energy system, thanks to the analysis of big data. The widespread use of digital technologies must, however, be accompanied by suitable measures for data and information protection from malicious intrusions and attacks (cybersecurity), and from uncontrolled use of customer data (data privacy).
The ETIP SNET WG4, Digitisation of the electricity system and customer participation, is pursuing the work started in this report and will soon publish its findings.