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Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Isaac Newton Institute

United Kingdom


100% renewable energy by 2050? This is an ambitious vision that will need significant change to our energy systems. It will require the development of an integrated power grid and continuous and steady transformation of the UK power system can only happen if fundamental interdisciplinary research and smart technology challenges are met.

The rapid advance of renewable generation, along with the move away from oil and gas to increased electrification is predicted to push electricity demands in the future to at least double current levels. Additionally, there are significant challenges for getting these energy sources to the grid – both engineering and economic and specifically for storage and demand management. Wind and solar production is both variable and uncertain, and grid system operators need to make sure they have enough reserves to balance them.
Consequently, there are significant research challenges associated with the move towards more renewables in our energy systems. The mathematical sciences can make significant contributions - for instance, in the areas of problems of control and optimisation where there is a need for better modelling, prediction and simulation.

This knowledge exchange workshop was part of the four months Research Programme at the Isaac Newton Institute (INI) on The Mathematics of Energy Systems. Participants on this programme are interdisciplinary and key aims are to develop methodology which is urgent for the next several years and to sow the seeds of a lasting mathematical research agenda.

Aims and Objectives

The energy systems area is highly multidisciplinary and requires the endeavours of mathematicians, statisticians, computational modellers, engineers and economists to address the challenges that exist. One of the most significant of these, is the management of energy flows in order to avoid billions of pounds of expenditure in network reinforcement. In this context, many of the present and emerging renewable resources pose both a challenge and an opportunity. These include, for example, generators, storage, interconnectors and demand-side management (including electric vehicles), along with other opportunities for automation coming from new power electronics technology and wider deployment of relays.

The programme for the day included academic research talks, as well as end-user challenge type presentations from key players across the energy sector supply chain. There was be a particular focus on:

  • Control and optimisation

  • Prediction and simulation

  • Market design

  • Risk and investment

  • Modelling and planning for uncertainty

This event was of interest to academics involved in energy systems research, as well as stakeholders from across the energy sector supply chain – including transmission, network distribution, generation, retail and regulation.

Elevator Pitch and Poster Submissions

We incorporated a short elevator pitch session between 12.25-13.00. This was a great opportunity to highlight relevant research to an audience which included participants from multiple disciplines and industry.
The poster exhibition ran alongside the workshop and those giving an elevator pitch were encouraged to submit a poster to support the content of their talk.

Registration and Venue

A registration fee was charged to cover attendance at this event. This was £50 for industrial attendees. 

There was no fee for registered participants of the INI Mathematics of Energy Systems Programme.

The workshop took place at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge. Please see the Isaac Newton Institute website for further information about the venue.

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