Smart Energy Systems

Climate change and political considerations have brought about a societal urge to redirect the energy system towards more sustainable generation from renewable resources.

Climate change and political considerations have brought about a societal urge to redirect the energy system towards more sustainable generation from renewable resources. Since the abundantly available renewables such as solar and wind are highly fluctuating, their increased adoption requires added flexibility on the demand side – to a degree that challenges the fundamental principles on which the current energy system is built, for example by reversing the producer-consumer roles.

Our research in Intelligent Systems draws on tools from multi-agent learning, game theory and mechanism design to model the strategic conflicts of interest arising in energy systems as they are structured today. We develop strategies for individual stakeholders to maximise their profit in the face of uncertainty and potentially adversarial opponents. In addition, we evaluate alternative regulations of the participants’ interactions that promote favourable collective outcomes.

On the one hand, our research results in algorithms that can be applied to control flexible assets such as batteries to maximise profit in current or near-future scenarios (for example, for peak shaving or time-of-use prices). On the other hand, we aim to identify the principles that give rise to a level playing field for competition to increase efficiency of the overall energy system. Such principles are meant to refine the understanding and influence on the liberalized energy markets

The need for research addressing the principles to intelligently orchestrate the future smart-energy system is recognized by the Dutch national research and innovation agenda in the Topsector Energy and Energy Transition Route (Energietransitie), and the European programmes of Horizon 2020, including Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy.

Contact person: Michael Kaisers
Research group: Intelligent Autonomous Systems (IAS)
Research partners: Spectral Utilities, Fraunhofer ITWM, Delft University of Technology
Spin-off: SEITA Energy Flexibility B.V.