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Smart Power

Panel Chair:

Steven Griffiths
Executive Director, Institute Initiatives at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, United Arab Emirates

Smart Power - Energy System Transformation from Chip to Grid

“Smart Power” is the convergence of device performance and energy efficiency at many scales. In the past 30 years we’ve been able to achieve dramatic performance improvements in a variety of sectors while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of energy consumption. As a specific example, the instructions a computer can execute per second per watt has increased approximately 3 million percent since the late 1970s and the need for such parallel advances in performance and efficiency continues to grow. Consumers are becoming increasingly connected to electronic devices for all forms of business and personal activities and electrical grids are incorporating increasing amounts of distributed and intermittent source of energy generation and consumption. These factors necessitate a smart energy system capable of handling a massive and integrated flow of information and electricity. This talk will provide an overview of the trends and technologies driving the future of “Smart Power”.


Date Time Location
Thursday, 24 May 2012 14:00 – 16:00 Congress Centre


Steven Griffiths
Executive Director, Institute Initiatives at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, United Arab Emirates


Livio Gallo
Networks & Infrastructures Director, Enel Group, Italy

Title: Smart Electricity Grids: innovating a hundred-year old grid
Abstract: Aim of this presentation is to introduce, from a utility point of view, the set of technologies that are generally named as “Smart Grid Technologies” and the likely evolution of these technologies in the next decade. Current electricity grid has been designed more than one century ago, when there was not Distributed Generation from renewable sources, electric mobility and tight energy efficiency requirements; consequently, smart equipments have to be introduced in the electricity grid in order to perform a fine-grained monitoring and control of the grid status as well as implementing state-of-the art functionalities; moreover, the cutting-edge communication technologies have to be exploited in order to connect all these devices. Enel began its smartening path early this century, being the first utility performing a full rollout of an Advanced Metering Infrastructure involving more 32 million customers in Italy; concurrently Enel deployed one of the most advanced grid control and automation system aimed at identifying and isolating faults on Medium Voltage lines. Furthermore, Enel designed a set of charging stations for electric vehicles, a set of solutions to increase consumer awareness as well as its own LED-based public lighting solution. Further Research, Development and Deployment (RD&D) activities have to be performed in the next decade in order to validate and deploy new technologies; particularly, technological solutions aiming at i) increasing hosting capacity of distributed generation from renewable sources ii) storing energy iii) implementing demand response and vehicle-to-grid applications, and iv) improving energy efficiency. Enel’s on-going projects will be introduced, related to the European Electricity Grid Initiative as well as the SET plan.


Martin Hierholzer
Division Vice President Industrial Power Control, Infineon Technologies AG, Germany

Title: Power Semiconductors, key enablers for Energy Efficiency along the whole Energy Supply Chain
Abstract: More than 30 percent of worldwide energy consumption is for electricity and the need for energy to make electricity will remain the single biggest driver of energy demand. By 2040, electricity generation will account for more than 40 percent of global energy consumption and this offers a huge potential for energy savings by use of power electronics. This presentation will show how to save energy through smart use of power semiconductors along the whole electrical supply chain consisting of generation, distribution and consumption. Focus areas are renewable energies, like wind and solar, power transmission along highly efficient energy highways and the broad area of power consumption by electrical motors. The outlook provided will show how new power semiconductor technologies will stimulate widespread use of energy efficient systems by making them higher performing but with lower cost.


Michael Lowak
CEO, Kofler Energies Power AG, Germany

Title: Energy efficiency as a business model? Intelligent energy management systems
Abstract: Not least due to the dramatic recent events in Fukushima, the German government last year decided to phase out nuclear power and thereby heralded the dawn of a new energy policy in Germany.
Alongside renewable energies, local energy generation, energy storage and expansion of the grids, the new approach focuses heavily on the topic of energy efficiency. One key issue here is that the energy consumption of buildings represents around 40% of all energy consumed. Studies have shown that the economic savings which can potentially be achieved in buildings are at least 35%. Increasing the energy efficiency of buildings can therefore make a significant contribution both to the new energy supply strategy and to achieving the climate policy objectives associated with this. Intelligent energy management systems are needed to get a clearer picture of the energy influences within a building. After all, it is hard to consciously change things you cannot see - especially when people are unwilling to sacrifice comfort. The key here is to develop new business models which can then be rolled out on a large scale. Energy management and energy efficiency need to become sexy in order for the massive potential to be properly tapped. However, the process of increasing awareness for the topic of energy efficiency in buildings and further reducing energy consumption and costs in buildings requires the right legal and political framework conditions. This is precisely the area where I envisage the greatest challenge. I will therefore highlight the solutions that Kofler Energies has to offer in catering to these market trends and show what promising business models for energy management can look like.


Thilo von Selchow
CEO and President, ZMD AG, Germany

Title: Semiconductors and the drive toward energy efficiency
Abstract: With capabilities of all applications increasing in complexity and features, the energy consumption rates seen are increasing at a staggering rate without parallel improvements in performance and energy efficiency. The continued need to improve energy efficiency of our systems can easily be seen in the power consumed in every day applications such as computers, automobiles, and smart phones. Data center energy consumption alone consumes approximately 1.3% of the world’s electricity. In this presentation, the trends and challenges for semiconductor companies are discussed with regard to meeting the need to improve energy efficiency. From the development of the first transistor, to the integrated circuit, to present and future systems, we need to view applications as whole systems and understand how complex interactions occur within them. Silicon densities continue to increase, while footprint sizes decrease. Solving power problems is no longer just a single silicon solution and improving power dissipation is no longer just about adding a heat-sink. New technologies from silicon processes, 3D packaging, to software provide new intellectual property that can be employed to create solutions that drive higher levels of performance and improved energy efficiency. Companies, such as ZMDI, have been a large part of driving improvements in energy efficiency for the past 50 years. ZMDI is now a recognized mixed signal system solutions provider in the Sensing and Power Management markets and has partnered with major customers who drive a large portion of the world’s energy demands. We explore an example of how power systems have improved and how the drive for ever increasing energy efficiency has driven the solutions from discrete analog applications to complete digital power systems integrated with software.


Albert Heuberger
Executive Director, Fraunhofer IIS, Germany

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