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Workshop in Canary Islands

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On Tuesday 15 February 2022 the Canary Islands workshop of the MESfIA project took place. It was organized by the local MESfIA project partner, the Canary Islands Institute of Technology (ITC), and held at the INFECAR exhibition centre is Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. A total of 77 participants, 21 attending physically in the conference room due to Covid Restrictions, and 56 remotely on-line from participating remotely on-line from universities, consultant companies and Utilities in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, France and Greece.

The workshop addressed different relevant issue related to maximizing renewable energy penetration in weak electrical grids of island and remote regions: Energy planning; Demand Side Management; wind and solar forecasting; Energy management Systems; island electrical power systems; impact of RES generation on electric grid parameters; strategies for maximizing RES penetration; electric mobility; energy storage; green hydrogen. It also discussed positive energy districts and will look at a success experience of a spin-off company that promotes RES.

Dr. Antonis Tsikalakis, the Co-ordinator of the project, made a short presentation regarding MESfIA project, its scope and the participants. One person from each Partners organization saluted the rest of the participants via the On-line Zoom platform.

Mr. Gonzalo Piernavieja, who coordinates ITC R&D activities, in his presentation discussed the elements that have to be considered when doing a proper energy planning that aims at contributing to a fast transition to a low carbon economy. He used the Canary Islands energy planning explaining the thorough diagnosis work that was carried-out and the methodology of the work elaborating sector strategies that support and the approach followed for the elaboration of the Action Plan.

He highlighted trends towards total electrification of lighting, cooking, DHW, EV, heat, desalination, mobility, and rest of energy consumption in island energy systems, and that this trend gives and excellent opportunity to apply Demand Side management, as a tool for contributing to maximizing RES penetration and for moving forward to a total decarbonized energy system and energy independence of islands energy systems.

He pointed-out the need to guarantee quality and security of supply (avoid outages in island electrical systems) in scenarios of high RES penetration, at the same time that the objective should be supplying electricity at a minimum cost, minimizing curtailment of RES and guaranteeing high capacity factors of energy storage devices.

He also expressed the concerns about fair energy transition, energy poverty and other social and environmental issues of the Canary Islands Regional Government when addressing the energy planning in the Canary Islands.

Dr Santiago Díaz from ITC’s Renewable Energy Department discussed forecasting numerical models that are currently used by ITC. And how complementing WRF climate models, with statistical models and the application of big data + machine learning, allows for reliable wind-solar forecasting.

He commented on the importance of forecasting for optimizing and size of energy storage, and that wind-solar-energy demand forecasting is the cheapest cost-effective of the elements of a strategy for maximizing RES. He also commented on the experience of ITC integrating forecasting tools into the EMS of the Tilos island microgrid (Work done under the European Commission financed project, TILOS)

Dr Elías Medina From ITC’s Renewable Energies Department, discussed technical issues related to the integration of renewable energies in small and weak electrical grids. He highlighted the voltage dip and problems with disconnection of wind turbine, and how modern wind turbines support the voltage grid and remain connected. He discussed inertia response of disturbance, and pointed-out the importance of active power regulation provide ancillary services, and introduce the concept of synthetic or artificial inertia, as a replacement to inertia provided by conventional rotating synchronous machines, necessary to maintain stability of the grid.

Dr Salvador Suárez Head of ITC’s Renewable Energies Department made a presentation focusing on the possibilities that energy storage offer in grid balancing of island electrical systems in scenarios of high RES penetration. He began by reviewing some basic concepts of RES affections to grid parameters, and economy aspects of energy storage. He also introduced some basics of hydrogen technologies and its integration with RES. He walked the audience through experiences in the Canary Islands with reverse pumped-hydro and with hydrogen for energy storage. Energy storage and H2 technologies.

He finalized his presentation by introducing possibilities of new fuels derived from green hydrogen. He discussed the different synthesis processes for obtaining fuels from hydrogen, and how Power to Gas and Power lo liquid technologies will allow for the substitution of fossil fuels in the transport sector (road, marine and air transport), and in power generation.

The last presentation was from Mr Matej Stipeljković and Mr Matija Sucic, young engineers entrepreneurs that have created in Croatia a company called company MS2 ENERGO. This is a spin-off of the University of Zagreb, created in the framework of the YENESIS project. They are both spending a month at the Canary Islands Institute of Technology in an exchange activity as part of the YENESIS project.

They presented their experience creating the company that is doing installation of roof top PV systems, and some key issues to their success in the hope that it could inspire university graduates from participating Southeast Asian universities in the MESfIA project, to create their own companies.

The MESFiA project (Mastering Energy Supply Focusing on Isolated Areas) is Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (under agreement No. 2018-2490/001-001). The project aims to provide high quality postgraduate education on energy supply for students and professionals willing to be employed in this sector. Specifically, it focuses on Southeast Asia that has multiple remote area, forest areas, mountainous areas and islands that will need to improve electrification conditions and other energy supplies. Additionally, this project partners with European Universities for knowledge and experience exchange among regions.

The MESfIA project brings together EU and South East Asian countries, namely Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, to develop education and training at Postgraduate level on various aspects of energy engineering, dedicated to isolated regions and mainly islands. The activities planned aim at strengthening curricula of master programs on renewable energies of the participating universities.

In line with Sustainable Development Goals 4, 7, 11 and 13, MESfIA emphasizes in providing, via existing or new MSc programs of the partner countries, the capability to apply specific skills to help in the more efficient energy supply of isolated areas. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the first students have already enrolled in the Universities and some of them will present their work in this Conference as a first attempt to enhance their academic skills.

Download the press release here.