The ever increasing electrical energy demands, limited fossil and nuclear fuel reserves, climate change, the national desire for energy independence and diversification of energy sources, thrust in the first plan distributed production of electric power from renewable sources as a key element in achieving sustainable development. Over ninety percent of the electricity generated in developed countries is consumed in homes, buildings, and industry. Greater attention must therefore be paid to end-use sectors if the promised benefits of smart grids - reduction of electricity consumption-losses, integration of renewable generation and storage, reduced use of fossil fuels, and improved grid reliability – are to be achieved.
The main problem in the usage of renewable electrical energy sources (REES) is their intermittency, which leads to problems in regulation of the power system. This problem exists both on a local production-storage-consumption level and on the power system level and becomes more pronounced with the increasing contribution of REES in the total energy production. A natural solution is to derive a coordinated and dynamic planning strategy for production-storage-consumption of electric power. With a local information- and power-connection of REES, energy storage facilities, and consumers in a system – a microgrid – one can control resulting energy flows while considering techno-economical criteria and the local energy yield forecast. Solution of such problems – via optimization for microgrid design and control – will significantly improve the integration of REES on both the local and the utility grid level.
This program includes 4 research teams with complementary competences from appropriate research fields: University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (FER), University of Zagreb Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FSB), Meteorological and Hydrological Institute of Croatia (DHMZ) and Končar – Electrical Engineering Institute (KIET).
Program is in line with the HRZZ theme „Renewable Electricity Generation”. It resolves a key problem of the REES integration in the power system. Furthermore, with its multidisciplinary approach, the program promotes the establishment of an inter-institutional center of excellence in the area of distributed renewable electricity generation, thus bringing the concept of smart grids and smart cities in Croatia closer to the practice.