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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

Frede Blaabjerg: power electronics can guarantee the infrastructural security in the era of digital transformation

Nowadays security of energy supply is a top priority and it is being observed from different angels. The issues of digital “hygiene” and managing cyber threats in the energy sector are inextricably linked with ensuring the reliability, accessibility and stable supply of energy resources, the 2019 Global Energy Prize laureate Frede Blaabjerg considers. The session ‘Digital Transformation Cannot Be Stopped: How Can We Ensure Critical Infrastructure Security?’ has opened the business programme of the Russian Energy Week International Forum. During the discussion of the key topic of the session, the expert discussed the benefits and opportunities of the power electronics technology and their contribution to the industry.

The energy paradigms in many countries have experienced a significant change from fossil-based resources to clean renewables in the past few decades. “The scenario of highly penetrated renewables is going to be further enhanced,” Frede Blaabjerg noted. “Denmark expects to be 100 percent fossil-free by 2050. Consequently, it is required that the production, distribution and use of the energy should be as technologically efficient as possible”, he said.

It is equally important to stimulate the end-user to save energy. According to the expert in order to realize the transition to the new energy paradigm smoothly and effectively, energy conversion systems, currently based on power electronics technology, will  play an essential role. Using highly efficient power electronics in power generation, power transmission/distribution and end-user application, together with advanced control solutions, can pave the way for renewable energies. Again, with many power sources in the energy mix the system becomes less sensitive if one-generation unit fails.

“We are installing more and more wind power.  In Denmark – we have very close to 50 % of all electricity coming from wind – so in terms of energy security we need to have solutions to use electricity when we produce more electricity than needed”. Frede Blaabjerg considers that the respond to this challenge is the development of storage that are flexible to the changing of loads– that means energy digitalization. According to the 2019 Global Energy Prize laureate, this development is on-going in Denmark where thermal energy storage, e-gas and flexible loads are used to control the overall energy system combined with strong electrical interconnections to other countries.

Among other things, the expert is convinced that  it is important to do research in making synergy between the different energy carriers so they can operate together through wide spread digitalization.
The Russian Energy Week International Forum is the biggest annual industry event dedicated to the analysis of trends in the global energy sector. The Forum is taking place from 2 to 5 of October in the Central Exhibition Hall ‘Manege’ in Moscow. The main event of the business programme of the Global Energy Association in the Forum’s framework will be the Global Energy Prize Award Ceremony (October 3rd, 11.30) and its own session ‘Mission Possible: Scientific Response to Universal Energy Challenges’. (October 4th,10.00)

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