Welcome aboard!

Dear course participants, welcome to our course on energy systems integration!

As Eisenhower famously said, “If a problem can’t be solved, enlarge it.’’

Energy systems integration is about taking a step back and looking at today’s energy challenges from a broader perspective. It is about finding value at the interfaces between the different system components.

The course is structured as follows:

Week 1

What is Energy Systems Integration (ESI)? Why does it matter and where exactly in the energy system does it play a valuable role? In the first week, you will get a general overview of ESI before diving into the details of it. You will also learn about the coupling of energy vectors through several technical examples. Through each example, you will learn how ESI can improve reliability, cost-effectiveness, and environmental sustainability for the integrated energy system.

Week 2

Have you ever wondered how the energy generated by windmills alongside the road makes its way to the light bulb in your home? Did you know that the exact same windmill can also provide you with heat in the wintertime, or even charge your electric vehicle? This week, you will learn that it is all about coupling the right energy networks at the right time. You will also be introduced to the coupling of institutional mechanisms. These are the glue that holds the integrated energy system together.

Week 3

In the third week, we go beyond the energy system itself to apply the concept of systems thinking. You will learn how different components of the energy system interact with other infrastructures. Water systems, transportation, but also data and communication networks are examples of such infrastructures. Finally, we bring all aspects of ESI together by looking at the integration of renewable energy technologies. One thing is certain, ESI is about finding the right compromise between all competing components and stakeholders of the energy system, including ourselves as consumers.

Week 4

After learning about different types of coupling within the energy system, Beth Larose will share some of her insights about how energy systems integration is being implemented at GE. She will present you how GE monitors and controls the integration of renewable energy resources, how challenges with natural gas network integration are being handled in real-life, and how emerging technologies open new opportunities for the integration of renewable energy resources. Finally, Beth will touch upon software and its role in successfully integrating renewable energy resources into the electricity grid.

What’s next?

Once you have mastered this introductory course, you will have the tools to delve deeper into our specialisation courses.

For these courses, we have chosen to look at energy systems from the perspective of different disciplines. Among others, these courses cover the following topics in detail:

  • Policy and regulation
  • Electromobility
  • Electric power systems
  • The psychology of consumer behaviour.

For each of those disciplines, an experienced academic teaches you through six videos, after which a colleague from the industry illustrates those with real-life case studies.

Introduce yourself

We want you to learn not only from the videos, readings and course activities but also from your fellow learners. Therefore, go on and get to know the community of this course. We warmly invite you to introduce yourself and explain briefly who you are and what your motivations are for taking this course in the discussion thread below.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests: Ensure you’ve mastered the material with access to tests on the course.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

Find out more

Once again welcome, and we hope that you will have an interesting and enjoyable learning journey with us. Let’s get started!

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This article is from the free online course:

Energy Systems Integration: An Introduction

EIT InnoEnergy