Unique MDH study shows: bigger freedom of choice places new requirements on the electricity producer

Jun 13, 2016 | Research/Cooperation

A bigger freedom of choice for the consumers - but also other demands on the suppliers.
Javier Campillo, doctoral student at MDH, sees both opportunities and challenges in his comprehensive study about future electricity consumption.
- I have shown how the electricity market and the consumers have to integrate for the energy supply to become efficient and reliable, he says.

In his thesis, ”From Passive to Active Electric Distribution”, Javier Campillo has researched about what we can expect from the future electricity market where freedom of choice and flexibility will be the keywords. He has also investigated how the electricity distributors have to adapt themselves to developments and how this affects the electricity consumers.

Javier Campillo shows that we are moving towards a more dynamic market where the consumers will get better opportunities to influence their choices of energy sources – from passive to active consumers. At the same time electricity suppliers and the market itself will have to respond to the increasingly more flexible behaviour of the customers.
- Electricity consumers can choose to consume their electricity during times when there is a high production of wind, solar and hydro energy. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production. Furthermore, consumers can keep a check on the electricity prices and plan their electricity consumption in advance, so that they spend less money on electricity bills, says Javier Campillo.

With this flexible electricity market as a basis, Javier Campillo's study focuses on the two main operators in an active production net: electricity producers and consumers. The study begins with an actual mapping of the consumers' electricity consumption. Javier Campillo has analysed large electricity datasets to find strategies of how to obtain the best benefits from the advantages of increased flexibility. In the next stage, he has studied what economic effect it would gain for the consumers to optimise their electricity consumption according to these strategies.

But Campillo did not stop there. He took this study a step further by analyzing, using mathematical models, how the existing production system would cope with an increased load as a consequence of more active choices from the consumers. This holistic approach, where so many parameters are involved, makes this study unique of its kind. 

One good example for this is the increased electricity consumption from the adoption of electric vehicles.  

– The electrification of the transport market is here. Electric cars are becoming increasingly cheaper and more and more people are interested in them. This will greatly increase the electricity needs, in particular at night when most people will be charging their electric cars. This in turn implies a big challenge for the electricity producers, says Javier Campillo.

It was no coincidence that Javier Campillo chose MDH as the base for his research:
- I have good experience of MDH from my Master's study programme. The excellent academic colleagues and the close cooperation with industry and with other universities in Sweden were some of the decisive factors, he says.

 

About Javier Campillo

Javier Campillo took his Technology degree at the Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar (UTB) in Cartagena, Colombia. He is passionate about using science to contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly society. He took his Master's degree at MDH in 2005 and then moved back to Colombia where he continued with research and consulting commissions to streamline the energy supply in industry. In 2011 he returned to MDH to do his doctoral thesis.

The public defense of Javier Campillo´s doctoral thesis will take place on June 17, 09.15 in room Paros, MDH.