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Abstract

Worldwide, the current energy system increasingly shows economic, social and environmental drawbacks and it does not appear to be sustainable. Among the most pressing problems are climate change due to CO2 emissions, the depletion of fossil resources, the security of energy supply, and threats to economic development. These problems can be addressed by moving towards energy systems that increasingly rely on renewable and sustainable energy sources. At the same time, the rapid progress in renewable energy harvesting and information and telecommunication technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for energy generation, distribution and management, and to more strongly involve people in the process of energy generation and management, which is needed to further enhance the sustainable energy systems. Indeed, renewable and sustainable energy sources are likely to be produced and distributed in a decentralised manner, and require energy management systems that differ greatly from the current centralised system. Hence, the integration of renewable sources has major implications for the design and management of energy systems, relying on innovative ICT solutions and stronger user involvement that facilitate supply and demand matching. Effective energy management requires the active participation and support of end users, who should accept the energy management systems, and adapt their energy use to the available demand as to enhance the efficiency and stability of the energy system. Hence, the design of future smart grids should be based on sound behavioural models, which should be integrated in ICT centred solutions that facilitate supply and demand matching. More specifically, we need to understand how truly complex information on energy production, use and storage can be effectively communicated among relevant actors, and what type of information and incentives should be provided to realise effective supply and demand matching. In addition, we need to understand how to take into account cultural specifics in the design of energy management systems, to enhance effective energy management across the world. The active and aware involvement of the end-user can only be achieved if a scalable and reliable ICT infrastructure is in place, which naturally interfaces the energy flows with the decision autonomy of the people. Hence, the design of effective energy management systems should be take into account key behavioural as well as ICT requirements in an integrated way. Our proposal is thus to investigate (1) ICT based solutions for monitoring and controlling the power grid focusing on the distribution networks (medium-low voltage) and buildings (offices and residential complexes) specific to the Qatar context; (2) behavioural models on effective and acceptable incentives to match energy supply and demand; (3) cultural specificities in the design of energy management systems by comparing results from research in Qatar to similar research in other parts of the world, in particular Europe. Together, these will provide important insights in how to promote efficient and stable renewable energy systems that meet Qatar's sustainability goals.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.EEP-034
2013-11-20
2020-09-28
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.EEP-034
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