Energy storage and demand-side flexibility within future electricity markets

Impending electricity market changes, increased electrification of heat and transport sectors, growing renewable energy penetration, new opportunities for cost-effective energy storage and smart grid controls, coupled with rising consumer participation, and as yet unforeseen technology shocks, are creating a new power system paradigm that must also ensure energy security, stability and reliability.

Evaluation and quantification of these impacts for all market players, existing and new entrant, requires integration of complex system models (market planning, dynamic techno-economic plant performance, unit commitment, network loadflow, system stability) to generate an all-encompassing and robust assessment of future policy initiatives, energy storage needs, power system operating procedures and market structures. New levels of modelling sophistication are required: planning & operational timeframes must merge to create a power system which is sufficiently flexible to be operable, generation scheduling and system dynamics must impact on investment decisions, increased load electrification must influence network expansion and demand-side response opportunities.

3 PhD projects, funded for 4 years each, are available in the following areas

  • transmission-scale storage and flexibility resources on power systems with high renewable penetrations
  • opportunities for small-scale distributed storage and demand-side resources
  • electricity market implementation and ancillary services.

Applicants are sought with a strong honours degree background in electrical engineering, or similar discipline, and ideally with experience in power system stability analysis, integration of renewable energy sources, power systems planning, unit commitment procedures, and power electronics control systems.

The full project team will consist of 3 post-doctoral researcher positions and 4 PhD studentships, based at University College Dublin and Ulster University.

The individual projects will be pursued in close collaboration with the project partners:

  • B9 Energy Group;
  • Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment;
  • Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources;
  • EirGrid Group;
  • Gaelectric Developments;
  • Glen Dimplex;
  • Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland;
  • Ulster University;
  • Utility Regulator.

Research impacts are aimed at policy guidance for decarbonisation targets and aspirations between 2020 and 2050, providing cost effective strategies for maintaining system security and stability, examining viable business cases for new/existing market participants, and ultimately signposting pathway options for a sustainable, efficient, secure electricity network that meets all end-user needs.

For further details of the individual PhD projects contact Assoc. Prof. Damian Flynn, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Email:, Tel.: +353 1716 1819.

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