Offshore wind to float

In a recent article published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, the challenges for the future of off-shore wind were discussed, considering Spain as a case.

The need for floating structures is a clear cornerstone for the development of off-shore wind in countries like Spain, where swallow waters are not convenient or restricted.

The development of these technologies to a commercial level will bridge the difference from on-shore connected windpower and off-shore or off-grid generation. Energy harvesting as discussed in this post with multi-use offshore platforms can be envisioned as a next step.

Picture from Yarik Mishin on freeimages.com

Picture from Yarik Mishin on freeimages.com

Excluding the technological and environmental challenges, there are other hurdles.

As it is highlighted usually, the unstable regulatory framework causes a lack of interest for investment, specially if paired with complicated administrative procedures.

Research article: Asessing Islanding Microgrids

The article we recently published, presents a method to assess the most appropriate microgrid configuration, depending on the costs of grid energy, renewable prices, storage, islanding conditions, etc:

Article Microgrids

Our definition of microgrid includes any network on household or building when including control, generation, storage or islanding capabilities. These microgrids must ask themselves what configuration is their best option, from full utility dependence to off-grid… The thing is: You ARE a microgrid, so what kind of microgrid is best for you to be?

Timer Plug off-grid TICTAC

Image from newkemall on freeimages.com

Actually, to turn every household and every residential, industrial or commercial building into a microgrid, with a Home – Building Energy Management system, with renewable generation (and storage) is the way of implementing the Smart Grid bottom-up and also Democratizing power generation.

It also pushes the system towards net-zero energy buildings which is the way forward pointed out by the EC, for example.

You also wonder what the Grid Independence Cycle is?

Read the article and take a look at Spain, where the menace for a toll on self-consumption and the fact that fixed costs are higher than variable costs may lead the system into the circle, with increasing partial or complete islanding (even with an additional toll, who knows) from the network.

YEEES Vienna PhD Day

Organized by: Student Chapter of the Austrian Association for Energy Economics

Date & venue: March 2013, Vienna, TU Wien

The aim of the event, as expressed in the call for papers, was to give PhD-students the opportunity to present their work in detail including a comprehensive feedback of senior researchers and professors in the field of energy economics.

For myself it was a very positive experience, for many reasons, I’d like to share my impression and recommend it to other fellow PhD students;

  • It is a great opportunity to present work in progress or a research paper and get very valuable feedback. The feedback is not only from professors, but also from peers, so you get inputs from researchers in the same field or using the same methodologies.
  • As other researchers present their work, you get ideas from methodologies or approaches and get additional contacts for the development of your work, as well as inputs from informal exchanges.
  • A seminar gets you away from daily work and research, where you might think new ideas for your work. You might also get interest in additional research and innovative topics.
  • As in my case, research is quite “lonesome”, getting together with fellow PhD students who share similar difficulties is motivational.
  • ..and of course it’ an opportunity to go out for dinner, some drinks and enjoy.

I’m more used to commercial congresses and conferences, so it was quite different, without the sales pressure and time stress to get business contacts and leads. If anything I missed was an additional entrepreneurial spin to orient research to business.

In short, it was a great and useful experience and highly recommended.