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Special Issue "Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Kaisa Matschoss

Department of Political and Economic Studies, Consumer Society Research Centre, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
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Interests: consumer behavior, energy efficiency, smart grid, sustainable development, environment
Guest Editor
Dr. Salla Annala

Electrical engineering, School of Energy Systems, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta, Finland
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Interests: customer behavior, electricity market
Guest Editor
Dr. Eva Heiskanen

Department of Political and Economic Studies, Consumer Society Research Centre, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy, consumption, innovations, sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The European electricity system is faced with fundamental transition needs due to climate change, resource scarcity and concerns over security of supply. A sustainable energy transition calls for improved energy efficiency and load management, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and increased integration of renewable energy sources, which are likely to lead to changes in consumer behavior, market performance of energy/electricity markets, shifts in roles of market actors and structural changes in the living environment of the people. In this context, great expectations are placed on an electricity system and market transformation labelled the smart grid facilitated by advancements in technology, especially ICT. Smart grids are defined as upgraded electricity networks, which are enhanced with two-way digital communication between supplier and consumer, as well as intelligent metering, monitoring and control systems (European Commission 2011) enabled by advances in digitalization. New possibilities for storing energy through the development of energy storage technologies are brought to the reach of lay citizens enabling also the integration of electric vehicles into the power system. Smart grids are seen as a solution to several interlinked problems: ageing infrastructures, the need to decarbonize the energy system and the transportation sector, increased penetration of intermittent energy sources, growing energy demand through increased amount of electric household appliances and the reduced availability of balancing power due to liberalization of the electricity market (Verbong and Geels 2010).

Smart grids will require but also support advances in several fields of technology, as well as technical and social innovations. Moreover, their role in sustainable energy transitions calls for research on energy markets and energy policy, including analyses of public acceptance of new electricity market schemes such as changes in electricity pricing and management of consumption data. The transition also entails a fundamental shift in the roles of producers and consumers, with great expectations toward a transformation of energy consumers into active players that respond to fluctuating power generation and congestion in networks by managing their demand as well as offering capacity either by themselves or opening the systems to the local energy company or to third parties. Finally, smart grids are part of transition where building, transport, fuels and heat are experiencing increasing integration. However, the impacts of smart grids do not necessarily contribute to increased sustainability and therefore their impacts on innovations, wider society, energy policy and sustainability governance, everyday structures and on practice consumption of households all demand for more research. Hence, the advancement of a smart grid calls for analysis beyond electricity, exploring the possibilities for the development of sustainable societies supported by smart energy systems.

This Special Issue invites submissions of cross-disciplinary and empirical studies from several fields of economics, business strategy, innovations, environmental impact studies, engineering, public policy, sustainability and consumer research. Since the smart grid and its impacts on sustainable energy transition is manifested differently in different countries and on different continents, a wide range of contributions are invited from all over the globe.


Dr. Kaisa Matschoss
Dr. Salla Annala
Dr. Eva Heiskanen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access bimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy
  • transition
  • smart grid
  • electricity
  • digitalization
  • demand response
  • policy
  • acceptance
  • consumer
  • environmental impact
  • sustainable societies
  • electricity pricing
  • markets

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Piloting Demand Response in Retailing: Lessons Learned in Real-Life Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103790
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 16 October 2018 / Published: 19 October 2018
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Abstract
This article presents a case study on a demand response (DR) pilot project dealing with the application of DR in a grocery store with the utilization of refrigeration equipment as energy storage and photovoltaics (PV) as an energy source. DR has recently gained
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This article presents a case study on a demand response (DR) pilot project dealing with the application of DR in a grocery store with the utilization of refrigeration equipment as energy storage and photovoltaics (PV) as an energy source. DR has recently gained increased interest due to the growing penetration of intermittent renewable energy requiring flexibility in power consumption. The smart power grid enables the introduction of novel solutions to increase flexibility and the entrance of new actors into the markets. Developing new solutions for the mainstream markets requires experimentation in real-life settings serving the development of technological capabilities, necessary policies and regulation, and user and market needs, as well as adaptation of and to infrastructure and maintenance systems. Our case study on a DR pilot in a grocery store in Northern Finland focuses on how the project contributes to knowledge on the potential for DR and scaling up. It was found that energy efficiency, DR, and self-generated PV power can be aligned and even enhance the potential for DR. While mature technologies exist, applications and installations have not yet been standardized to enable rapid scaling up, and current DR market rules and practices fail to accommodate for small electricity consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Who ‘Uses’ Smart Grids? The Evolving Nature of User Representations in Layered Infrastructures
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3738; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103738
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 17 October 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article addresses the anticipated use and users of smart energy technologies and the contribution of these technologies to energy sustainability. It focuses on smart grids and smart energy meters. Qualitative accounts given by European technology developers and experts reveal how they understand
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This article addresses the anticipated use and users of smart energy technologies and the contribution of these technologies to energy sustainability. It focuses on smart grids and smart energy meters. Qualitative accounts given by European technology developers and experts reveal how they understand the final use and social impacts of these technologies. The article analyzes these accounts and compares the UK’s smart meter rollout with experiences from other European countries, especially Finland, to provide insights into the later adoption stages of smart energy and how its impacts have evolved. The analysis highlights significant differences in the likely intensity and manner of user engagement with smart grids and meters: depending first on whether we are considering existing technologies or smart technologies that are expected to mature sometime in the next decade, and second on whether the ‘user’ is the user of smart meters or the user of an entire layer of new energy services and applications. By deploying the strategic approach developed in the article, smart grid developers and experts can give more explicit attention to recognizing the descriptions of ‘users’ in smart-grid projects and to the feasibility of these expectations of ‘use’ in comparison to the possibilities and limits of energy services and applications in different country contexts. The examination of user representations can also point out the need for further technology and service development if some of the envisioned user profiles and user actions appear unrealistic for presently available technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Integration of Demand Response and Photovoltaic Resources in Residential Segments
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093030
Received: 23 June 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 26 August 2018
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Abstract
The development of renewable sources in residential segments is basic to achieve a sustainable energy scenario in the horizon 2030–2050 because these segments explain around 25% of the final energy consumption. Demand Response and its effective coordination with renewable are additional concerns for
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The development of renewable sources in residential segments is basic to achieve a sustainable energy scenario in the horizon 2030–2050 because these segments explain around 25% of the final energy consumption. Demand Response and its effective coordination with renewable are additional concerns for residential segments. This paper deals with two problems: the demonstration of cost-effectiveness of renewables in three different scenarios, and the application of the flexibility of demand, performing as energy storage systems, to efficiently manage the generation of renewable sources while improving benefits and avoiding penalties for the customer. A residential customer in Spain has been used as example. The work combines the use of a commercial simulator to obtain photovoltaic generation, the monitoring of customer to obtain demand patterns, and the development of a Physically-Based Model to evaluate the capability of demand to follow self-generation. As a main result, the integration of models (load/generation), neglected in practice in other approaches in the literature, allows customers to improve revenue up to 20% and reach a basic but important knowledge on how they can modify the demand, development of new skills and, in this way, learn how to deal with the characteristics and limitations of both Demand and Generation when a customer becomes a prosumer. This synergy amongst demand and generation physically-based models boosts the possibilities of customers in electricity markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle What Will Make Energy Systems Sustainable?
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2537; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072537
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 16 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
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Abstract
Despite the success of the German Energiewende in increasing the production of electricity from renewables and the positive global spillover effects of renewable technologies, one of the lessons learned is the insight that simply shifting to renewables and recommending improving energy efficiency is
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Despite the success of the German Energiewende in increasing the production of electricity from renewables and the positive global spillover effects of renewable technologies, one of the lessons learned is the insight that simply shifting to renewables and recommending improving energy efficiency is not sufficient to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Combined with the expected radical change of technologies, this requires a more profound understanding of our energy systems. Therefore, in contrast to many conventional energy economy approaches, we propose a deepened structural analysis that covers the full energy value chain from the required functionalities for mechanical, thermal and specific electric energy services via application and transformation technologies up to primary energy. This deepened structural approach opens and substantially enhances our understanding of policy designs that are compatible with the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. We discover the essential role of four energy grids, namely for electricity, heat, gas, and information as the key for integrating all components of a newly structured energy system. Consequently, we conclude that policy strategies focusing on individual components of an energy system like shifting to renewables may, from a comprehensive perspective on more sustainable energy systems, prove even counterproductive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Incorporating Power Transmission Bottlenecks into Aggregated Energy System Models
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061916
Received: 8 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
Energy scenario analyses are able to provide insights into the future and possible strategies for coping with challenges such as the integration of renewable energy sources. The models used for analyzing and developing future energy systems must be simplified, e.g., due to computational
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Energy scenario analyses are able to provide insights into the future and possible strategies for coping with challenges such as the integration of renewable energy sources. The models used for analyzing and developing future energy systems must be simplified, e.g., due to computational constraints. Therefore, grid-related effects and regional differences are often ignored. We tackle this issue by presenting a new methodology for aggregating spatially highly resolved transmission grid information for energy system models. In particular, such approaches are required in studies that evaluate the demand for spatially balancing power generation and consumption in future energy systems. Electricity transmission between regions is crucial, especially for scenarios that rely on high shares of renewable energy sources. The presented methodology estimates transmission line congestions by evaluating the nodal price differences and then applies a spectral clustering on these particular link attributes. The objective of the proposed approach is to derive aggregated model instances that preserve information regarding electricity transmission bottlenecks. The resulting models are evaluated against observables such as the annual amount of redispatched power generation. For a selection of defined performance indicators, we find a significantly higher accuracy compared to the commonly used, spatially aggregated models applied in the field of energy scenario analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle A Communication-Supported Comprehensive Protection Strategy for Converter-Interfaced Islanded Microgrids
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051335
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 15 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 25 April 2018
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Abstract
The deployment of distributed generators (DGs) gives rise to several challenges for a microgrid or conventional distribution feeder, regarding control and protection issues. The major ones are: bi-directional flow of power, changes in fault current magnitude, and continuous changes in operational configuration due
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The deployment of distributed generators (DGs) gives rise to several challenges for a microgrid or conventional distribution feeder, regarding control and protection issues. The major ones are: bi-directional flow of power, changes in fault current magnitude, and continuous changes in operational configuration due to both the plug-and-play of DGs and loads, and the intermittency of the renewable DGs. This issue is exacerbated when the microgrid contains several converter-interfaced DGs and operates in the islanded mode of operation. Hence, conventional protection strategies and relaying techniques will no longer be sufficient to protect islanded microgrids against network faults and disturbance conditions. This paper proposes a fast and reliable communication-supported protection strategy for ensuring the safe operation of converter-interfaced islanded microgrids. The strategy is implementable using commercially accessible microprocessor based digital relays, and is applicable for the protection of low voltage islanded microgrids. It provides backup protection to handle communication failures and malfunctions of protective devices. The paper also presents the detailed structural layout of the digital relay, which executes the proposed protection strategy. A number of improvements are proposed to find an alternative method for conventional overcurrent relays to reliably detect small-magnitude fault currents and high impedance faults, commonly encountered in converter-interfaced islanded microgrids. A simple and economical bus protection method is also proposed. Several simulations are conducted on a comprehensive model of a realistic operational industrial microgrid (Goldwind Smart Microgrid System) using PSCAD/EMTDC software environment—for different case studies and fault scenarios—to verify the effectiveness of the present strategy and its digital relay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Towards Efficient Energy Management and Power Trading in a Residential Area via Integrating a Grid-Connected Microgrid
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041245
Received: 19 March 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Demand side management (DSM) is one of the most challenging areas in smart grids, which provides multiple opportunities for residents to minimize electricity cost. In this work, we propose a DSM scheme for electricity expenses and peak to average ratio (PAR) reduction using
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Demand side management (DSM) is one of the most challenging areas in smart grids, which provides multiple opportunities for residents to minimize electricity cost. In this work, we propose a DSM scheme for electricity expenses and peak to average ratio (PAR) reduction using two well-known heuristic approaches: the cuckoo search algorithm (CSA) and strawberry algorithm (SA). In our proposed scheme, a smart home decides to buy or sell electricity from/to the commercial grid for minimizing electricity costs and PAR with earning maximization. It makes a decision on the basis of electricity prices, demand and generation from its own microgrid. The microgrid consists of a wind turbine and solar panel. Electricity generation from the solar panel and wind turbine is intermittent in nature. Therefore, an energy storage system (ESS) is also considered for stable and reliable power system operation. We test our proposed scheme on a set of different case studies. The simulation results affirm our proposed scheme in terms of electricity cost and PAR reduction with profit maximization. Furthermore, a comparative analysis is also performed to show the legitimacy and productiveness of CSA and SA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle A Novel Method of Protection to Prevent Reverse Power Flow Based on Neuro-Fuzzy Networks for Smart Grid
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041059
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 27 March 2018 / Accepted: 29 March 2018 / Published: 3 April 2018
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Abstract
This paper addresses the energy challenges related to the weak protection of renewable energy from reverse energy flow and expanding access to high-quality energy at the same time. Furthermore, this paper focuses on participation in the global transition to clean and low-carbon energy
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This paper addresses the energy challenges related to the weak protection of renewable energy from reverse energy flow and expanding access to high-quality energy at the same time. Furthermore, this paper focuses on participation in the global transition to clean and low-carbon energy systems. Moreover, the increased demand for renewable energy seems to likely depend on whether it will be possible to greatly accelerate rates of progress toward increased efficiency, de-carbonization, greater generating diversity and lower pollutant emissions. This paper focuses on the protection of renewable energy technologies because they can be particularly attractive in dispersed areas and therefore, represent an important option for rural areas that lack electrical energy and distribution infrastructure. This paper proposes an improved protection device for a reverse power protection system using a new intelligent decision support system (IDSS). The IDSS is a support system for decision making, which makes extensive use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. The new method integrates the powerful specification for neural networks and fuzzy inference systems. The main advantage of this method is that it causes a decrease in the steady state oscillation for the reverse power relay. In addition, the proposed method has the ability to monitor extreme environmental conditions. The generator can be converted into a motor when the steam supply to a turbine is interrupted while the generator is still connected to a grid (or operates in parallel with another generator). As a result, the generator will become a synchronous motor and will actually cause significant mechanical damage. The reverse energy protection device should be included in the generator protection scheme. Smart grids use communication networks with sophisticated algorithms to ensure coordination between protection systems. ZigBee is a newly developed technology that can be used in wireless sensor networks (WSNs) to comply with the IEEE 802.15.4 standard. Low data rates, low power consumption and low cost are key features of ZigBee. The execution of star, tree and mesh topologies as well as support comparison is based on end-to-end delay, throughput, medium access control load in addition to sent and received traffic parameters. The use of star topology obtained a delay of 0.2 s. The simulation results show that this method is superior to the traditional method in terms of speed and steady-state oscillation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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Open AccessArticle Operation Optimization in a Smart Micro-Grid in the Presence of Distributed Generation and Demand Response
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030847
Received: 29 January 2018 / Revised: 10 March 2018 / Accepted: 10 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (3713 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the application of distributed generation and the development of smart grid technology, micro-grid, an economic and stable power grid, tends to play an important role in the demand side management. Because micro-grid technology and demand response have been widely applied, what Demand
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With the application of distributed generation and the development of smart grid technology, micro-grid, an economic and stable power grid, tends to play an important role in the demand side management. Because micro-grid technology and demand response have been widely applied, what Demand Response actions can realize the economic operation of micro-grid has become an important issue for utilities. In this proposed work, operation optimization modeling for micro-grid is done considering distributed generation, environmental factors and demand response. The main contribution of this model is to optimize the cost in the context of considering demand response and system operation. The presented optimization model can reduce the operation cost of micro-grid without bringing discomfort to the users, thus increasing the consumption of clean energy effectively. Then, to solve this operational optimization problem, genetic algorithm is used to implement objective function and DR scheduling strategy. In addition, to validate the proposed model, it is employed on a smart micro-grid from Tianjin. The obtained numerical results clearly indicate the impact of demand response on economic operation of micro-grid and development of distributed generation. Besides, a sensitivity analysis on the natural gas price is implemented according to the situation of China, and the result shows that the natural gas price has a great influence on the operation cost of the micro-grid and effect of demand response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Power Grid for Sustainable Energy Transition)
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