More Than Electricity
Energy Systems Integration
The theme of this issue is energy systems integration—it’s not just electricity. And indeed it is a unique approach that considers the relationships among electricity, thermal, and fuel systems and data and information networks to ensure optimal integration and interoperability across the entire energy system spectrum.
On a large scale, energy systems integration encompasses large generation technologies such as geothermal, hydropower, wind, and solar energy and covers geographically dispersed systems such as utility service territories and balancing areas. Large-scale renewable integration studies are needed to evaluate the operating and reliability impacts of higher penetrations of wind and solar energy, calculate the costs for power system operation, and evaluate methods for determining additional reserves. And because these systems operate across multiple regulatory areas and jurisdictions, integration usually requires that a number of regulatory issues be addressed.
Energy systems integration on a campus, city, and community scale encompasses technologies such as campus energy aggregation, photovoltaic systems, small wind turbines, plug-in electric vehicles, district heating and cooling, and combined heat and power systems. Policy analysis is needed to examine the effect of state and local policies on campus, city, and community integration development.
Small-scale energy systems integration involves residential and commercial integration of diverse technologies such as photovoltaic systems, small wind turbines, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, smart meters, and home and building energy management systems.
In This Issue
Our guest editors, Ben Kroposki of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, United States, and Mark O’Malley of University College Dublin and director of the Electricity Research Center in Dublin, Ireland, have put together a comprehensive set of six articles that provide background related to the complex set of issues that accompany the applications of energy systems integration in real-life settings throughout the world. The articles, which are introduced in their “Guest Editorial,” derive from Europe, North America, and Asia and offer an interesting panorama of technological, social, and environmental issues that vary throughout the world.
The Rotary Converter Era
We are delighted to welcome an old friend, Tom Blalock, who returns as the author of the issue’s “History” column, the first of two that will cover the rotary converter era. The column is introduced by Associate Editor Carl Sulzberger, whose editing skills are again on display. As ac became the choice for voltage supply, it became imperative to find ways to continue to supply inplace dc systems, and the rotary (synchronous) converter was developed as the answer. That’s the beginning of the story, and I leave the rest to your reading pleasure, both in this as well as the succeeding issue of our magazine.
A Reminder to Vote
Allow me to take this opportunity to remind our IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) members that the election of PES officers for the 2014–2015 period is in progress. With the advent of electronic voting, barriers that previously existed to make the process difficult have been eliminated, and I urge all members to become familiar with the candidates (their biographies and candidate statements can be found in the “Society News” column in the July/August issue) and exercise your right to vote for the candidates of your choice.
A Thoughtful Analysis
In a fitting conclusion to our issue theme, Chris Marnay of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory offers, in his “In My View” column, a thoughtful and provocative analysis of where we are and where we may be going. He makes a strong case for determining the optimum grid configuration that meets our evolving priorities utilizing existing and evolving technologies.