“The grid demands digitisation and AI”

02.03.2020

Europe’s high-voltage grid has a total length of around 485,000km and continuously feeds in approx. 1,152,017MW of electricity. The transnational grid can be considered as the backbone of all European critical infrastructures, whose reliable operation is essential for Europe to function as an economic zone. Since this aspect is too often neglected, Maik Neubauer, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET Services, the Munich-based Regional Security Coordinator (RSC), has taken the opportunity to share his views on the prospects of the European electricity transmission system in an interview in the current issue (1/2020) of the “THEMEN:magazin”. This German-language medium bi-monthly provides reports on economic challenges and opportunities with a focus on energy policy.

Neubauer points out that, although the European interconnected grid is one of the most complex infrastructures in the world, there have so far hardly been any significant blackout situations – thanks to the cooperation of the European transmission system operators (TSOs), which has been well-established for decades. But since the energy transition is a pan-European project, the increasing flows of electricity from renewable sources do not stop at the border. European TSOs face the challenge of integrating numerous additional energy sources into the grid and operational control processes. Due to the predominance of nuclear and fossil power generation to date, the forecasting and control processes for optimum utilisation and balancing of the European grid have so far been rather deterministic, which is currently changing at a rapid pace with the volatile renewable energies.

Therefore, in addition to grid expansion and swift digitisation of control processes, increased European coordination of congestion and capacity management is essential. The EU network codes and, of course, the RSCs are crucial for this, as Neubauer emphasises. The RSCs receive data on expected grid situations from almost all European TSOs. This information is aggregated by the RSCs to provide an “early warning system” that identifies potential bottlenecks and threats to the grid. The RSCs thus support their TSO customers to counteract potential blackout situations in Europe by taking real- and near-time mitigation actions in their system operations and planning departments. Nevertheless, according to Neubauer, swift digitisation is inevitable to cope with the increasing data volumes in European grid management caused by the integration of renewable energy sources.

Without the seamless interaction of operations technology (OT) and information technology (IT), secure grid management will hardly be possible in the future. Neubauer also predicts that without a high level of artificial intelligence (AI), the complexity in critical infrastructures will no longer be controllable by humans in the medium term. Therefore, AI will soon also radically change the energy sector. Neubauer is well aware, however, that IT security and cyber security must have the highest priority in order to safeguard developments in AI and protect highly critical infrastructures from misuse or even terrorism.

“Artificial intelligence will be indispensable” – in an interview with the “THEMEN:magazin”, Maik Neubauer presented his view on the perspectives of the European electricity transmission system

Linkup
> Visit “THEMEN:magazin” webpage, in German (html)

See article on single page

“Tremendous potential in self-learning systems”

26.03.2019

The “ZfK”, short for “Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft”, stands for the leading medium for municipal utilities as well as supply and disposal companies in Germany. One of the editors, Stephanie Gust, conducted an interview with Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services, which has now been published with the latest issue under the rubric “Nachgefragt” (“Enquired”).

In addition to the company’s role and tasks in the operation of the European electricity transmission grid, the talk also focuses on the potential of so-called Artificial Intelligence (AI). “At present, AI does not play a major role with us,” Neubauer regrets. Although the Munich-based Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) “works with very complex algorithms and mathematical models to calculate network bottlenecks or available capacities”, but “these systems are not yet self-learning” and do not yet issue reliable forecasts based on empirical values. “Here I see a very high potential for risk analysis in the future – both at the transmission grid level and in the distribution grids,” explains Neubauer. Due to the courtesy of the publishing house, we can offer the entire text (in German) here.

Maik Neubauer interviewed by “ZfK”, the German trade journal on municipal economy

Linkup
> Open “ZfK” interview, in German (pdf, 216kb), with kind courtesy of VKU Verlag GmbH, Munich
> Visit “ZfK” webpage (html)

See article on single page

Big data improves service performance

22.11.2017

The autumn 2017 edition of the OSIsoft EMEA User Conference took place in London, and three experts of the Munich-based Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) TSCNET Services participated in the renowned event. Alexander Küster, Head of Operations at TSCNET Services, seized the opportunity to present Data Quality Management Systems (DQMS) developed by TSCNET. He outlined the current implementation status and explained future plans for data visualisation as well as the analysis system and service. Now the Power Engineering International (PEI), an online magazine for the international power generation industry, has published its report.

TSCNET Services deploys big data analysis to facilitate decision making at RSCs, and to provide detailed energy forecasting services for the operational optimisation of its shareholder transmission system operators (TSOs). In the PEI interview concerning this matter, Alexander Küster explains that TSCNET Services draws upon its “knowledge and deep understanding of TSOs’ operational processes to identify additional potential for optimisation systematically and to establish valid and reliable service performance measures”.

The interest taken in TSCNET’s presentation was notable and the following panel session provided an encouraging feedback. The considerable potential of data management for the daily operations of TSOs seems to be increasingly recognised. With our data management solutions, we at TSCNET Services are convinced to deliver real value to our customers.
.

> See PEI article (html, with access to interview video)

.

See article on single page