New ICAI Lab 'AI for Energy Grids' launched

News - 21 April 2022

The new ICAI Lab 'AI for Energy Grids' was launched on 20 April, in order to research the application of AI to distribution networks. It will combine Alliander's considerable industrial capabilities with the academic strength of TU Delft, Twente University, Radboud University and the HAN University of Applied Sciences. The lab represents an excellent fit with TU Delft's ambitions to accelerate the energy transition.

At present, the Netherlands’ electricity grid is reaching the limits of its distribution capacity. A strong and smart electricity grid is essential for the energy transition, so it is essential to improve the grid’s transport capacity. The AI for Energy Grids Lab focuses on expanding that transport capacity in two ways – by improving grid operations, and by conducting research into infrastructure expansion. This will involve analysing grid data, and developing new AI methods and tools that learn from this data.

"Knowing how to build and use AI technology effectively in the context of energy systems is a crucial scientific step that helps us move forward in the energy transition," said Geert-Jan Houben, Pro Vice Rector Magnificus AI, Data and Digitalisation.

"The energy system, and in particular the distribution grid, is becoming increasingly dynamic, complex and stochastic. However, the methods used to plan and manage the grid rely on passive structures and simple worst-case assumptions. This lowers the performance of the current grid, and therefore becomes a barrier to the energy transition. It is now time to catch up and transform grid companies’ methods. AI will make an important contribution to such a future energy system," said Jochen Cremer, Assistant Professor and Lab Manager.

The new AI for Energy Grids Lab is part of the Dutch National Innovation Center for AI (ICAI), which is committed to keeping the Netherlands at the forefront of AI knowledge and talent development. Jochen Cremer, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of EEMCS, is the lab manager responsible for the lab’s scientific direction. Cremer is also co-director of the Delft AI Energy Lab, part of the TU Delft AI Labs & Talent programme.

There are five open PhD positions at the new AI for Energy Grids Lab: three at TU Delft, one at the University of Twente, and one at Radboud University. The PhD students will work on themes such as graph neural networks; state estimation; risk-based investments and operation; digital mesh / decentralized control of energy flows; and explainable AI. Click here for more information about the PhD vacancies. 

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