The transition to a globally sustainable low-carbon emission society requires a significant increase in the use of renewable energy. We are facing increased decentralized energy production, and digitalization of the whole value chain. Advanced use of ICT is crucial for realizing this energy shift. This is confirmed in the revised national strategy for Norway on energy research, Energy21 which recommends to give Digitalization and integrated energy systems top priority. In this context, the energy sector is facing two key challenges: 1) the sector must be able to apply state-of-the-art ICT, 2) there is a lack of talents with the necessary expertise in the intersection between energy systems and ICT, which we refer to as energy informatics. This project, which is a collaboration between research groups at University of Stavanger, University of Oslo, Technical University of Munich, and University of Lille, is one response to these challenges. The groups form the core of energy informatics educators and researchers at their respective institutions.
Energy informatics (EI) is an interdisciplinary field that deals with the digitalization of the whole value chain of the energy sector. EI is concerned with how to exploit state-of-the-art ICT methods, tools and techniques to achieve sustainable energy generation and use. Research and education in EI requires a solid foundation in informatics. EI research and education can therefore naturally be envisioned as extensions of research and educational programs in informatics.
The goal of the project is to strengthen the research and educational activity on EI at the partner institutions.
The project period experienced many challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most mobility exchanges were cancelled. Several attempts to hold a physical workshop were canceled in 2020-2021, which resulted in an online workshop in the spring of 2021. From the fall of 2021, we cautiously started a one-week summer school together with the LUCS project in September. 28 students and 7 staff traveled to the University of Lille together with 10 local students and staff for a summer school entitled Green Computing Meets Green Energy. The school consisted of 13 guest lecturers from all over Europe, practical session for students and student presentations about their work in green computing. In 2022, there were several mobility exchanges in both directions, and physical events together with the LUCS project, a workshop at TU-Munich in March, a working meeting at TU-Berlin, a summer school in Oslo. Most recently, UiS was co-organizer of this year's international conference IEEE ICEI 2022 (http://www.energyinter.net.cn/icei2022/) online.
In spite of the many challenges Covid-19 has presented, the various groups continued research on the topic and were able to publish several articles, some of which were joint. Additionally, the project participants have begun collaborating and running local testbeds. The next project period is expected to consist of at least one workshop and one summer school, along with multiple student and staff exchanges.
- An Energy Informatics video lectures series was made available as part of PACE course development and curriculum sharing.
- Material (slides, video recordings, reports, references to further reading) from the summer schools have been made available to partners and participants. This material is also utilized for improving existing and planned courses related to energy informatics at the partner institutions.
- A number of Early Stage Researchers (PhDs, Post-docs, and 2nd year MSc students) gained knowledge and were offered networking opportunities with leaders in their field as part of the Workshop and Summer School series hosted by the Project.
Advanced use of ICT is crucial for realizing the transition to a sustainable low-carbon emission society. The energy sector is facing two main challenges: 1) it must be able to apply state-of-the-art ICT, 2) there is a lack of talents with expertise in energy and ICT. This proposal is a response to these challenges.
Energy informatics (EI) is an emerging field that deals with the digitalization of the whole value chain of the energy sector. EI is concerned with how to exploit state-of-the-art ICT to achieve sustainable energy use by developing systems that manage energy more sustainably and more sustainable computer systems (green computing).
The cooperation between the four institutions is meant to strengthen all partners in this emerging field. The groups form the core of energy informatics educators and researchers at their respective institutions. Their complementary existing competences will lead to a broader coverage of the field and improve their educational offering and impact internationally.
The connections between higher education and research cooperation contributes to strengthening the quality of education in energy informatics through the early transfer of research results and insights from our collective ongoing projects into the educational programs. This will assist students in understanding the ICT opportunities and challenges of intelligent energy management systems. The quality of research is strengthened from educational activities through the generation of new and/or improved research ideas resulting from exposing and discussing recent research results and insights in course settings.
Expected results of this project include joint graduate student supervision, joint publications, joint research activities, joint projects funded by other sources, and a formalized exchange program (e.g. Erasmus) allowing streams of students to participate in research and education activities at the four partner universities for the years to come.