We live in a complex world. Anyone with a stake in managing some aspect of that world will benefit from a richer understanding of resilience and its implications.
As you might know, PPRE is dynamic and in constant change. From its recent extension to 2 years; through changes in people – students and staff; to opening new opportunities to learn and explore relevant topics for Renewable Energy. One of the newest learning opportunities to the programme is the topic of Resilient Energy Systems that offers an exploration of interdisciplinary methods to assess energy systems. The integration of Resilient Energy Systems to the PPRE program includes a Lecture, a Seminar and research within a PhD.
While Herena, Michael and Adrian are collaborating in the seminar and lecture, Adrian will also be working with the topic for a PhD, but you will know more about it in the following newsletter.
Why resilience of energy Systems? What is that?
The energy supply system, seen as a socio-technological system, is a complex system that is operating under deep social and technical transformations processes. For example infrastructure and ownership decentralization; changing consumption patterns – from access to basic energy services to sector coupling and electro-mobility; and of course the transition to renewable energies. These transformations bring in challenges, which resilience approach could assist to tackle.
As the energy system become more networked, decentralized and more complex, it brings higher complexity and uncertainty in the system behaviour, which may lead to increased vulnerability. In this context, the design, monitoring and operation of the energy system is necessary, facilitating its adaptability to changing conditions. The goal is, thus, a resilient energy system, which is not only enough robust and flexible to supply the energy services under stress conditions, but that is also able to recover, adapt and evolve. The methods to evaluate these capacities are still under research, and it can be really challenging, specially when it is approached as a socio-technical system.
Lecture & Seminar
Through a series of lectures, we are exploring the theoretical background for understanding the main concepts and interdisciplinary scientific methods to develop and later apply the concept of resilience to RE Systems. The lectures start with a comprising introduction into resilience roots and concepts, followed by lectures given by experts in particular dimensions, methods or application contexts. The expert lectures include topics from grid flexibility, risk absorption mechanisms, vulnerability analysis, and cyber-resilience research to participation and governance.
Each expert lecture is followed by a vivid seminar, where the topics are further discussed through participative dynamics. In this way, the participants get an introduction to the topic and the opportunity to ask the experts during the seminar. Afterwards, with the support of extra literature recommended by the experts, we have a deeper discussion into a specific aspect of the topic, its relation to resilience and its applicability to the energy system.
The Seminar and the lecture are part of a 6 Credits Points module, which runs for the 1st time during summer term 2019. About 10 enthusiastic MSc-students from PPRE and SEM (Master in Sustainability Economics and Management) are regularly participating in the session and more than 10 experts from multiple disciplines and research institutes are invited. You can have a look at the lectures programme below:
Lectures Outline: Resilience of RE Systems