Georgia PIERROU (Greece)

In her PhD research, Georgia systematically examines the impact of uncertainty of renewable generation on the one hand and electric loads on the other hand on the operation of electric energy systems. She is also developing novel solutions that exploit the inherent uncertainty against the occurrence of unwanted power outages. With her research outcomes, she aims to promote the integration of renewable energy sources worldwide.

PhD Student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University, Canada

Research focus: analysis and control of modern sustainable electric energy systems including renewable energy sources

The growing integration of renewable energy sources introduces great uncertainties to electric energy systems and poses new challenges to their secure and stable operation from different aspects. As the share of volatile renewables such as wind or solar power continues to increase worldwide, it is of great significance to investigate and manage the impact of renewable energy uncertainties on the stability properties of sustainable energy systems. Among the various stability properties that may be affected by renewables, the importance of voltage stability is crucial to ensure the normal operation of any power grid. In simple words, voltage instability and voltage collapse are associated with loss of power supply, costly power outages, and equipment damage. Research shows that due to the variability in weather conditions, increasing amounts of uncertain renewable generation (e.g., wind and solar) and fluctuating loads (e.g., electric vehicle charging) may affect the timing of voltage collapse. However, the literature lacks a systematic study to assess and interpret such phenomena.

Georgia’s research systematically investigates the impact of uncertainty of renewable generation and electric loads on the operation of sustainable electric energy systems and proposes novel solutions that exploit the inherent uncertainty against the occurrence of unwanted power outages. First, Georgia analytically incorporates and studies the impact of the stochastic characteristics of electric loads, wind power, and photovoltaic generators on the dynamic voltage stability of the power system in real time. In the next step, she designs effective countermeasures and data-driven controllers to enhance voltage stability and protect the stable operation of modern sustainable power grids incorporating high shares of renewables.

The potential contributions of Georgia’s research lie in a wide range of interdisciplinary research areas that encompass the following UN Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), and Goal 13 (Climate Action). In particular, the research outcomes could prompt the integration of renewable energy sources worldwide and substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix without compromising the security of the electricity system and access to electricity. Power system operators could also receive useful practical insights into assessing and enhancing the stability of modern, sustainable power systems with a high share of renewable generation.

The jury lauded Georgia’s interdisciplinary research that combines management and technology. Her work focuses on the analysis and control of modern, sustainable electric energy systems, including renewable energy, and highlights the relevance of grid reliability for achieving the global energy transition.

The research of Georgia mainly contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 7, 9, 11, 13:

Take a look at this video that briefly introduces Georgia and her research: