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Peter Palensky

 Professor and Head of Department, Electrical Sustainable Energy, TU Delft, Netherlands


Bio: Peter Palensky is full Professor for intelligent electric power grids and head of department Electrical Sustainable Energy at TU Delft, Netherlands, since 2014, working on mastering the complexity of smart, sustainable and flexible electric power systems. He also serves as Director of TU Delft's cross-faculty Delft Energy Initiative, and as Principle Investigator at the Amsterdam Metropolitain Solutions (AMS) institute. He is past Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine and associate editor for several other IEEE journals. He is financial advisor and AdCom member-at-large of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society.

Title of Keynote Speech

The Energy System: from Analog to Digital?

AbstractOur power system is exposed to a number of non-negotiable transformative and partially disruptive processes: Decarbonization, Decentralization, and Digitalization are the most prominent ones, where the last "D" usually enables the first two "Ds". The way how we understand, plan, analyze, and work with this largest man-made machine is changing and will require an update on our mindset, on our business logic and rules, and also on how we teach the next generation of electrical engineers. These transformations pose opportunities and risks, and we need to be ready for a new system, that requires new tech and new methods.

This talk will introduce you to some changes that our future power system will need to master, to the most important aspects of the digital transformation, and also present examples where digital technology already shows impact to power systems. You will see that uncertainty, risk, and complexity will be the "new normal" for power systems, and that this must be matched with new design and operations.

Digital elements in the system can provide more insight, more flexibility, and more preparedness for an uncertain and dynamic future.

Equipping all power system assets with digital functions, however, might also lead to phenomena previously only known in the ICT world:

complexity, software bugs, race-conditions, interoperability questions, and - last but not least - cyber-security problems. Activist hackers, terrorists, digital vandals, state player attacks: they all can aim at the digital assets of modern power systems in order to impact the physical half of it. Industrial control systems for power systems such as IEC 61850 are one element of the so-called attack surface. The talk aims at introducing you to these new phenomena, but it shall also spark an open discussion: We are now at the tipping point of innovation and IECON 2024 is a great gathering of the right people to discuss the future of smart power systems.

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