Peter Vaessen studied electrical power engineering and graduated from Eindhoven Technical University in 1985, the same year that he joined KEMA. He held several research positions in the field of large power transformers and measurements in high-voltage networks. From 1991 to 1996, he managed several realization projects, among them construction of the Dutch 400 kV substations at Meeden and Eemshaven. As a consultant he has experience in the conceptual design of integrated electrical systems and innovative techniques and tools for transforming existing large-scale hierarchical systems into flexible dynamic structures, allowing economic utilization, competition and integration of RES and DG. He is actively involved in the technology strategy of KEMA and works for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs on setting up scientific research programs in the areas of power electronics and the future long-term reliability of the Dutch electricity network.
Several European countries have policies to encourage the development of renewable energy sources. This is identified in, for example, the European green paper Energy strategy for a sustainable, competitive and secure energy supply (March 2006).
In the transition towards a European sustainable energy system for the future and to reduce the dependency of imported primary energy sources such as oil and gas, the development of offshore wind power is an essential element. EWEA assumes that almost 120,000 MW offshore wind power will be realised in the next two decades, amounting to 10% of the installed generating capacity. Apart from offshore wind energy, other offshore renewable energy sources such as wave energy, tidal energy and some experimental technologies of offshore energy have been considered.
Recent blackouts within Europe have shown that there is a need for increased European co-ordination regarding the transmission of electricity including aspects related to interconnections. In the EU technology platform Smart Grids, attention is paid to the networks of the future to ensure that they can accommodate and facilitate large amounts of renewable energy, both distributed and concentrated.
Following the European Smart Grids line of thinking, Airtricity has proposed a European offshore super grid (HVDC based on Voltage Source Converter technology), combining the grid integration of offshore wind farms with an interconnection grid between countries at sea. One could extend the role of this grid and connect all “ocean power” to it. The supergrid could then be part of the European backbone to connect and transmit bulk renewable power from remote generation sites, even as far as North Africa (Desertec).
The goal of this webinar is to discuss "Ocean Grids", grids at sea, at a conceptual level. The idea behind Ocean Grids is to provide an offshore backbone for the mainland transmission networks on one hand, and connection points for offshore wind power stations on the other hand. This will include offshore wind energy and other potential energy sources at sea.