Accommodation of High Renewable Energy Penetration in Power Systems

Driven by the need to reduce carbon emissions associated with electricity generation, renewable energy sources are playing an increasing role in power systems around the world.  Some national systems are now seeing the annual average renewable contribution exceeding 20% of total electricity generation, with instantaneous penetrations far exceeding this.  Although low penetrations of renewable energy can be absorbed with little change to power system operation, this is not true when a high proportion of generation is coming from time variable renewable energy sources.  Moreover, the dominant new forms of renewable generation, namely variable speed wind turbines and photovoltaics, do not contribute physical inertial and displace conventional plant that add small but critically important inertia to the power system.  This presentation will review the latest research concerned with these issues, and based on this, sketch out the form and operation of future power systems.


David InfieldFollowing a degree in Maths and Physics from Lancaster, and a PhD in applied mathematics/theoretical physics, David joined an industry research association (BSRIA – Building Services Research and Information Association) to work on solar heating and combined heat and power.  After a couple of years there he joined Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to on wind energy.  There he became the manager of the Universities Wind Test site, working closely with Universities on wind energy research, including wind turbine aerodynamics, condition monitoring, and wind-diesel systems.

In 1993 he moved to Loughborough University, his first academic post, to create CREST, the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology.  The next decade were lean years with regard to wind energy research funding so research was focused on PV and the integration of renewable energy into power systems.  Together with Leon Freris, he established an MSc (including a distance learning option) in Renewable Energy Systems Technology, which still runs successfully.  He also worked with the EUREC Agency in Brussels to establish a European Renewable Masters course.  This also continues to flourish.  He also led a number of major EU and EPSRC projects.  He joined up with Graeme Burt to manage the Highly Distributed Power Systems (HDPS) Supergen consortium.

He became the founding Editor in Chief of IET Renewable Power Generation in 2006 which he continues to manage and is now one of the leading international journals concerned with renewable power integration.  An annual conference series was developed to support the journal and this alternates between venues in Europe and Asia.

Participation in this partnership with Strathclyde led to him joining the University in 2007 as Professor of Renewable Energy Systems Technologies.  The HDPS project was followed by the HiDEF Supergen (Highly Distributed Energy Future).  Other major projects at Strathclyde included a Platform grant on the integration of renewable energy into power systems, participation in the Supergen for Delivery of Sustainable Hydrogen, and in an EPSRC/China grant on EV Smart Grids.  His most important contribution within EEE was to establish in 2009, together with Bill Leithead, the Doctoral Training Centre for Wind Energy Systems.  This now continues as the CDT for Wind and Marine Energy Systems.  These grants have allowed Strathclyde to become by far the largest UK centre for wind energy research, and one of the largest in the EU.  From 2018 his status has been Research Professor at the University.