Energy sources are classified as renewable (solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, and waste) and non-renewable (fossil fuels such coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear). Today’s energy transition is a shift from fossil fuels-based sources to sustainable and renewable energy sources to achieve full decarbonization in all sectors.

Renewable Energy Sources

Renewable Energy Systems (RESs) integration, both large and small scale, are on the increase globally, and this trend is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. The challenges of renewable integration span several disciplines related to aerodynamics, forecasting (e.g. solar and wind), data analytics, mapping of potential locations, RESs technology development, control, power plant design, power plant Controllers (centralized and decentralized), grid integration schemes and studies.

Environmental concerns have brought global pressures to replace conventional generation with renewable power plants and distributed generation in both transmission and distribution networks, respectively. Therefore, the key question raised by all power utilities, manufactures and market operator is “Can renewable energy sources behave like Conventional Generation?” The ultimate goal in some countries is to achieve 100% renewable energy sources operating in conjunction with several means of energy storage systems (ESS) (e.g electrical, mechanical, thermal and hydro) to address the vulnerabilities posed to the grid resulting from the intermittent nature of these renewable resources.

In this context, the advanced power and energy center (APEC) at Khalifa University developed several research projects with industrial collaboration (locally and internationally) to accelerate renewable energy integration. These research projects stem from the confluence of a number of important factors:

  • Plan for high penetration of PV and wind power generation into power grid,
  • Uncertainty PV and wind power generation on grid flexibility and stability
  • The requirement of dispatching the PV and wind power plants with ESS and achieving efficient ancillary services.

Consequently, the development of renewable energy systems for seamless integration while ensuring economical, efficient and secure operation for power grid can be realized through integration of the following topical areas:

  • Online Forecasting Tools
  • Power Electronics and Control (for Grid Interface schemes)
  • Renewable Power Plant Design (Wind, PV and CSP)
  • Renewable Energy Management System