Energy Systems Integration: An International and Institutional Challenge & Opportunity


Wednesday, November 29, 2017, 3:30pm to 4:45pm


Pierce 100F, 29 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA

Speaker: Mark O'MALLEY

Mark O'MALLEY, Chief Scientist, Energy Systems Integration and Senior Research Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S.A.; Chair and Professor of Electrical Engineering, University College Dublin

Abstract: Energy System Integration (ESI) is the process of coordinating the operation and planning of energy systems across multiple pathways and geographical scales in order to deliver reliable, cost effective energy services with less impact on the environment.  ESI control variables are technical (i.e. physical coupling) and institutional (i.e. policy, regulatory and/or economic) with a strong human dimension. ESI is most impactful at the interfaces where the coupling and interactions are strong and represent a challenge and/or an opportunity. ESI is growing in importance across the globe driven in large part by the transition to variable renewable energy sources. The institutional challenges for ESI are extremely complex as they can, for example, require coordination across jurisdictional boundaries, involve a multitude of markets, and actors, for the same or different products and at all times must be aware of the consumer.  ESI will be discussed with an emphasis on international experience and policy challenges in particular with respect to the integration of variable renewables into electricity grids. Research results, pitfalls and practical solutions will be highlighted with a strong emphasis on collaborative work and the importance of international coordination.

About the speaker: Mark O’Malley is Chief Scientist, Energy Systems Integration and Senior Research Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA.  He is the Director and co-founder of the International Institute for Energy Systems Integration. He is on sabbatical from University College Dublin where he holds the Chair of Electrical Engineering.  He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and has received two Fulbright Fellowships.  Mark is recognized as a world authority on Energy Systems Integration and Grid Integration of Renewable Energy. 

Co-sponsored by the China Project, Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Consortium for Energy Policy Research, Harvard Kennedy School.