VATTENFALL ENERGY AWARD FOR RESEARCH ON VIRTUAL POWER PLANTS

Sweden In recent years, many of Vattenfall’s R&D projects have been based on work from Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), which has been a strategic partner since 2010. The other day the winner of the Vattenfall Energy Award was selected as producing the year’s best thesis in energy research.

The annual Energy Dialogue 2017 conference was held for the sixth time on 24 November.  Professors, researchers, students and business partners gathered to discuss relevant topics, including how the world’s energy research should in future be linked to the KTH campus in Stockholm. During the day, the Vattenfall Energy Award was also presented for the best master theses in energy research. Out of 37 submitted applications, Théobald Le Louarn won first prize for his thesis entitled ’Optimization of a Virtual Power Plant Portfolio in the German Electricity Market’, with the following motivation by the jury:

“Transition to energy systems based on renewables implies introduction of central and decentral intermittent power generation leading to larger variation in supply. Incorporation of small and large decentralised power producers and consumers into a virtual power plant will make this transition easier. The solid analysis conducted and software tool developed in this project is an innovative and very fruitful step in this direction.”

Sean Gilleran came in second place with improved weather forecasting models for wind power, and third place was taken by Marco Ghiandelli for his work on the small-scale production of biogas in Indonesia.

Vattenfall instituted the prize in 2010. It goes to a student from one of the KTH programmes who is taking his/her finals during the year. The topic should be relevant to energy but there is no requirement for it to be related to Vattenfall.

“We at KTH feel that the Vattenfall Energy Award challenges our master students and supervisors and we are very grateful for the cooperation,” says Olga Kordas, Programme Head and Chairperson of the KTH Energy Platform.

Hundreds of researchers seek climate solutions
Energy research at KTH, which is characterised by interdisciplinary work and innovation, engages over 500 researchers and 15 research centres. The principal aim of the KTH Energy Platform is to develop cross-border research cooperation in order to speed up the energy and climate transition in Sweden and globally.

The leaders of the partnership between KTH and Vattenfall. From left, Professor Göran Lindbergh from the KTH, and Magnus Berg, Adjunct Professor and Portfolio Manager at Vattenfall’s R&D department.

KTH at the heart of the business world
Swedish industrial companies have long collaborated with KTH in order to devise innovations which can lead to the development of new products and services. To complement the traditional study courses, companies sometimes offer financial grants to students. Paid master courses are of interest to many partners, who are often involved within the scope of the study programmes as visiting lecturers or in a similar capacity.

Today, KTH has strategic partnerships with eleven large Swedish companies or organisations, but only one company from each industry. The cooperation is based on a mutual exchange of ideas and aims to link together students, researchers and companies in order to find new sustainable solutions, not least within the energy sector.

“It was KTH who initiated the strategic partnership with Vattenfall, but the agreement does not specify any precise undertakings, rather allowing both partners to fill it with their own content. A specific example at project level is our cooperation aimed at making heavy industry CO2-free, and that includes the HYBRIT project for fossil-free steel. Some projects can take several years before becoming reality whereas others are significantly closer to implementation, but it’s full speed ahead all the way,” says Magnus Berg, Partnership Leader, Adjunct Professor as well as Portfolio Manager for E-Mobility and Customers & Solutions at Vattenfall’s R&D department.

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