Smart Grid

January 21, 2013

Arnhem, Netherlands to Welcome New Renewable Energy Research Unit

Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a Norwegian technical standards foundation, announced on Thursday that it has plans to open a new Strategic Research Unit at its energy branch’s global headquarters in Arnhem, Netherlands. The unit is expected to focus its research efforts on the development of smart grids and super grids, both important elements in integrated, large-scale renewable energy systems going forward.

As the move away from fossil fuels and non-renewable sources of energy accelerates, the economic share of renewable sources is expected to grow in parallel and smart grids and super grids are essential to the future sustainability of such a low carbon energy system. The research unit in Arnhem is being set up to not only carry out research into such grids, but also translate the generated knowledge into practical solutions and information for decision-makers.

November 2012 heard a similar announcement by DNV’s KEMA branch, responsible for energy and sustainability, in which it detailed the investment of $93.5 million into its High-Power Laboratory. The expansion would allow greater and more sophisticated testing in the lead up to the future low carbon economy.

To ensure a successful transition into a more sustainable energy grid, such research as is being conducted by DNV is required to assess how the current system works and fits together, and to optimize any future transitions to suit this current model. There is a marked difference between generating power conventionally, through our current non-renewable system and sources, and how power is generated through our current renewable systems and sources.

Such renewable sources, as wind and solar energy, are currently far more intermittent than more conventional sources, so smooth transitions, optimizations and controls are essential for ensuring the viability of such a low carbon future as stakeholders are pushing for. Sophisticated distribution and storage methods, as well as greater flexibility, are other requirements of such a system and the technologies it relies on.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman