Project Researcher / Postdoc (1 year) on the subject of Blockchains, Dynamic Contracts and Autonomous Negotiation for Smart Grids

Energy systems are currently in a revolutionary transition, due to the increasing inclusion of sustainable energy sources. Whereas in the past, energy supply was determined by demand and was supplied centrally, in the future, demand and increasingly decentralized supply will need to respond to each other. Their balancing requires a combination of adjusting conventional generation, exploiting efficient storage technologies and implementing demand response with corresponding incentives thereof. Balancing activities may take place on multiple scales, from the individual household to the European or even an envisioned global grid. The vacant position contributes to the research, development and experimentation to tackle applied scientific research questions within the EIT Digital project ‘Distributed Ledger Services for Online Contract Settlement (DLS OCS)’. The primary driver is increasing system efficiency by a fair attribution of energy planning and plan-deviation costs between multiple stakeholders. The aims of DLS-OCS are to extend the state of the art in (1) Contract definitions, specifically for trading electric flexibility (demand response), (2) Negotiation strategies, specifying how parameters of the contracts are agreed upon by autonomous agents, (3) Use-case scenarios, how a blockchain-based solution can provide services in the energy context. The research shall draw on tools and techniques from sequential multi-agent decision-making under uncertainty, (evolutionary) game theory and market mechanism design. The project is a European collaboration, and the research is closely related to other research activities within the group. The applicant will take responsibility for the implementation of algorithms and contracts for planning and intelligent local control in face of uncertainty, and will closely collaborate with other project team members. Overall, the work is aimed at developing reusable software algorithms, simulation and control modules that can be employed in scientific experiments related to the research in the group