The Transition towards Affordable Electricity: Tools and Methods
To decarbonize the electric energy sector, renewable energies are increasingly integrated into the generation mix. The main challenge, apart from the efficiency of renewable energy conversion, is maintaining the reliability of the electric grid, which is responsible for linking electric generators and consumers. To this end, the whole electric power system, covering generation, transmission, distribution, and consumption needs to be planned and operated in a cost-effective as well as reliable manner. The research in this domain has led to the development of tailor-made open-source software tools for electric grid modeling, simulation, and optimization. This chapter discusses the tools MATPOWER, GridLAB-D, MESMO, and URBS, which cater to the integration of renewable energies and other distributed energy resources (DERs) in the electric grid. The key features and applications for each tool are highlighted and compared, with a focus on district-scale electric grids, i.e., electric distribution systems. Furthermore, exemplary results are presented to emphasize suitable applications for each tool, based on a synthetic distribution system test case for Singapore.