Grid Flexibility and Research Challenges to Enhance the Integration of Variable Renewable Energy Sources
Mark O'Malley, Electrical Engineering Dept., University College Dublin
Monday, January 14, 2013 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Grid flexibility is a characteristic that is proposed to help the integration of variable renewable energy resources. However it has proven very difficult to quantify and this has spurred intense research efforts over the past few years. There are many sources, sinks and enablers for flexibility in the grid and these are all subject to numerous research challenges. Flexibility will be introduced, defined and a number of methods to quantify it will be described. This will be followed by an overview of research into unlocking flexibility in the power system e.g. demand side participation and power system operational strategies. There are potential hidden costs of flexibility and some of these will be highlighted, for example thermal plant cycling, and mitigation measures to reduce these will be formulated. Concluding remarks will try to give insights into how a future grid with very high penetrations of variable renewable energy may look like.
Doug Arent, Executive Director, Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis at NREL
Monday, November 26, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
The Renewable Electricity Futures Study is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels--from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies--in 2050.
At such high levels of renewable electricity penetration, the unique characteristics of some renewable resources, specifically geographical distribution and variability and uncertainty in output, pose challenges to the operability of the nation's electric system. The study focuses on key technical implications of this environment from a national perspective, exploring whether the U.S. power system can supply electricity to meet customer demand on an hourly basis with high levels of renewable electricity, including variable wind and solar generation. The study also identifies some of the potential economic, environmental, and social implications of deploying and integrating high levels of renewable electricity in the United States.
Shawn Kerrigan, Locus Energy
Monday, June 4, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Distributed solar generation is growing rapidly across the United States and around the globe. Use of renewables has always been desirable environmentally, but now for the first time in many places it makes solid economic sense as well. A tidal wave of investment and innovation makes distributed solar a dynamic and exciting industry.
Solar energy has many advantages when used for distributed generation, such as saving costs by bypassing congested transmission and distribution systems, and directly generating power at the point of consumption. Distributed solar power brings a number of new challenges, however, due to volatile production output and a need to manage large numbers of systems across a broad area. Solving these problems requires innovations in forecasting, monitoring/analysis, managing, and servicing the large number of small-scale generation assets. This seminar will cover some of those challenges and what Locus Energy is doing to help address them.
Frank Wolak, the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University
Monday, May 21, 2012 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Because electricity is a necessary input to so many economic activities, there are significant political obstacles to charging business and residential customers retail prices that reflect the hourly wholesale price of electricity. A long history of retail electricity prices that do not vary with real-time system conditions makes this task even more difficult. Finally, the lack of interval meters on the customer’s premises makes it impossible to determine precisely how much energy each customer withdraws in a given hour.
Recently a number of jurisdictions in the U.S. have installed the interval meters necessary for customers to participate actively in the wholesale market. This talk will summarize the results of a number of research projects at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development for allowing electricity consumers to benefit from active participation in wholesale electricity markets. The results of dynamic pricing and information provision experiments will be summarized, and current and future directions for research at the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development will be described. Necessary changes in state-level regulatory policies that can also unlock the economic benefits of modern technologies for active participation of final consumers will also be discussed.
Amory Lovins, Cofounder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
Monday, May 2, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
Rocky Mountain Institute’s autumn 2011 Reinventing Fire will explore practical pathways for the U.S. to eliminate oil, coal, and nuclear energy by 2050 (and natural gas thereafter), led by business for profit. This ambitious synthesis integrates transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity—the sole sector previewed in this seminar. Four divergent electricity futures are feasible, plausible, surprisingly similar in cost, but very different in risk. Contrasting their technological, financial, operational, carbon, security, and other risks favors renewable futures—whose variability is manageable with little or no bulk storage—and fair competition by distributed resources in netted islandable microgrids. This future maximizes competitive opportunities for rapid innovation and learning, and seems well matched to global market trends and to emerging revolutions in customer choice and utility business models. All four futures require major regulatory reform. At least the first three need significant new transmission, though probably less for renewables than often supposed. Renewables require big shifts in utility culture and operational procedures—especially if grid architecture becomes more granular—and assume continued progress down observed cost learning curves. Renewables, with scale and technology mix modulated by markets and policies, generally hold promise of more robust response to both political obstacles and exogenous shocks than do nonrenewable futures.
Juan de Bedout, Ph.D., Global Technology Director, Electrical Technologies and Systems, GE Global Research
GCEP Distinguished Lecturer
Monday, April 25, 2011 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center | Free and Open to All
The last several years have seen a flurry of activity in industry and academia in the Smart Grid space. The need for a smarter electrical grid in North America stems from emerging challenges in congestion, reliability, safety and renewable energy integration, that may be more cost effectively resolved with advanced controls technology than with bulk infrastructure growth. Solutions to these problems require system thinking; many technologies need to work together to collectively provide relief. It is important to note that the problems change dramatically as you migrate to different parts of the world, with every region having unique challenges and opportunities. This talk will focus on Smart Grid technologies for mature grids such as the one in North America, and will pay special attention to the integration of renewable energy resources. A brief discussion of the grid in India will be provided for contrast.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
What happens when you put lots of wind and solar power onto the power system? Do you need more storage? Do you need more reserves? When does the system 'break'? What actions can be taken to integrate wind and solar power into the power system without large cost increases to consumers?
Wind and solar power are inherently variable and uncertain. This causes difficulties for power system operators who must maintain reliability. Over the past several years, utilities and researchers have simulated power system operation with various penetration levels of renewable energy, examining increased costs due to integration of the renewables and mitigation measures to more cost-effectively accommodating the renewables. Debbie will present an overview of recent renewable energy integration studies in the US and Europe. She will focus on the recently released Western Wind and Solar Integration Study, one of the largest wind and solar integration studies to date, that examines the integration of up to 35% wind and solar energy into the power system. Issues addressed include: utility cooperation, tradeoffs between local and remote renewable energy resources, geographic diversity, storage, reserves, and improved forecasting.
followed by a MAP Energy Social (details announced at the seminar)
- Zhi-Xun Shen, Stanford Institute for Materials & Energy Science (SIMES)
- Sally Benson, Global Climate and Eneregy Project GCEP
- Stacey Bent, TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy
- Jim Sweeney, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC)
- Frank Wolak, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development (PESD)
- Larry Goulder, Stanford Environment and Energy Policy Analysis Center (SEEPAC)
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Franklin M. ("Lynn") Orr, Jr. became the director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford upon its establishment in 2009. He served as director of the Global Climate and Energy Project from 2002 to 2008. Orr was the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University from 1994 to 2002. He has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1985 and holds the Keleen and Carlton Beal Chair of Petroleum Engineering in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, and is a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. His research activities focus on how complex fluid mixtures flow in the porous rocks in the Earth's crust, the design of gas injection processes for enhanced oil recovery, and CO2 storage in subsurface formations. Orr is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He serves as vice chair of the board of directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and he chairs the Science Advisory Committee for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and was a foundation board member from 1999-2008.
Note different time and location - 3:45-5:15pm, McCaw Hall
- John Krenicki, President and CEO, GE Energy
- Roy Johnson, former CEO, Calisolar
- Dick Swanson, President Emeritus and CTO, SunPower
- Uma Chowdhry, Senior Vice President and Chief Science and Technology Officer, DuPont
Held in conjunction with the GCEP Annual Research Symposium
Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | 03:45 PM - 05:15 PM | McCaw Hall, Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center | Free and Open to All
Andrew Revkin, editor of Dot Earth, will moderate a discussion with leaders from industry about the opportunities for businesses and countries to participate in the energy economy and the "energy innovation ecosystem" that will be needed to stimulate, support, and sustain innovation in the energy sector. This panel takes place in conjunction with the Annual Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) Research Symposium which this year has the theme of “Creating a Sustainable Energy System for the 21st Century and Beyond”.
Margot Gerritsen, Stanford University
Wednesday, April 28, 2010 | 04:15 PM - 05:15 PM | Building 420, Room 40 | Free and Open to All
Most stakeholders agree that solar energy can provide a significant percentage of U.S. electrical needs over the coming decades. National public support of solar energy projects, and large scale solar projects, is strong. Despite the support and excitement, the first of the newly proposed, and fast-tracked, large scale solar projects are facing significant hurdles. Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment recently hosted a two-day forum in which industry, NGOs, policy makers and scientists discussed these challenges and brainstormed ideas to meet them. Margot Gerritsen, who led the forum, will discuss the outcomes of this fascinating forum. Questions addressed in her talk include: Why is there broad excitement about large scale solar? What are fast track projects, and why are they facing high hurdles? What do tortoises have to do with large scale solar projects? How can we make large scale solar work, and what role can Stanford play?