- Issue Time
Recently, in response to the development trend of the power grid in the future energy transformation process, the reporter interviewed Mariesa L.Crow, vice president of the IEEE Power and Energy Branch and professor of the University of Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Reporter: What state do you think a sustainable power system should look like?
MariesaL.Crow: In the past decade, the cost of generating electricity for renewable energy has fallen sharply worldwide. Virtual power plants, microgrids, energy storage, and electrified transportation have also begun to interconnect in a new generation of power grids. At the same time, the market platform for consumers to make active decisions has also begun to be established. In the vision of the power system in the future, everyone can become a producer and consumer of electricity, and even every electric car can conduct end-to-end power transactions.
With the large-scale integration of renewable energy, one of the important changes is that the future power system will change from the existing determined state to the uncertain state. In the past, how much electricity was produced for power producers was determined. However, due to the intermittent nature of renewable energy generation, the amount of electricity generated will be a range rather than a certain value, which will have an impact on electricity production and consumption and electricity trading.
Reporter: When the power system is uncertain, how will the power system be safely and stably operated in the future?
MariesaL.Crow: In terms of stability, grid reliability will be closely related to cost. When the cost of input is enough, the generated electricity can meet the demand or excess, and the backup system is guaranteed, which also satisfies the security and stability of the system. This will be a balance between cost and reliability. In addition, system optimization will become very important. Future grids need better regulation capabilities, and they add economically viable energy storage devices, using better system models to predict possible system deviations or errors to reduce costs.
Reporter: In the process of energy transformation, how to upgrade the next generation power system?
Mariesa L. Crow: The first is physical material. Changes in the materials used in power systems allow people to better utilize clean energy, from AC to DC, and next-generation devices can regulate renewable energy such as solar and wind. The introduction of new materials has made solar panels, which have been around for decades, more efficient and can also promote the development of the energy storage industry.
In addition, advanced computer systems and networks can increase the interactivity between people and energy systems. For example, when a person is at home, they can directly control the temperature at home, choose whether or not to bear, and how much electricity to pay.
Reporter: In your opinion, what are the current obstacles to achieving a new generation of power systems?
Mariesa L. Crow: The biggest technical problem is the intermittent variation of solar and wind power, so it has to be equipped with economical energy storage devices, but there is no such technology. But now we have also done a lot of forecasting work to reduce the instability caused by photovoltaics and wind power. In a country with a large area, the distribution of wind energy and photovoltaic resources is uneven, and the power grid must achieve a certain balanced distribution.
Upgrading a new generation of power systems can take up to ten years. In a short period of time, people will not abandon the use of fossil energy. Of course, fossil energy has a cleaner way of use. I think the most likely scenario in the future is the combination of multiple energy forms. What we need to do is to optimize the entire system. In the future, people need to understand how to use electricity, that is, to make decisions on power consumption through personal will, rather than as a passive user. This consensus has not yet been established.
Reporter: What advice do you have for China to develop a new generation of power system?
MariesaL.Crow: From the current situation, it is China that is constantly driving new technologies in the energy field, such as UHV, and China's power system is newer than the US. China's bus and trains are highly electrified. I think China will become a global leader in the field of electrified transportation. Now China has surpassed the United States in this field.