Blog: Friday, 6 February 2015

The supply of electricity is shifting to sustainable and decentralised production from renewable sources; it’s a big change from the 20th century model of central large-scale generation. New systems can use real-time consumption information to leverage consumption and prices, and can incentivise customer behaviour. New research by PhD candidate Markus Peters from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) reveals the correct designs and the societal implications of the new systems. Peters’ results provide guidance for sustainable electricity systems, and highlight their potential societal positives and negatives.

Peters proposes that Smart Markets and intelligent Information Systems (IS) could alleviate the issues of varying customer demands and generation from sustainable sources. They provide new forms of co-ordination that leverage real-time consumption information and prices. First, Peters proposes and studies a design for Brokers, a novel type of IS for autonomous intermediation in retail electricity markets. Second, he proposes a probabilistic model for representing customer preferences within intelligent IS, studying its performance in electricity tariffs among other tasks. And third, he explores Competitive Benchmarking, a novel research method for effective IS artefact design in complex environments such as Smart Grids, where the social cost of failure is prohibitive.

Modern electricity systems are increasingly using renewable sources, and electric vehicles (EVs) pose a number of co-ordination problems that machine learning techniques are well equipped to handle, says Peters. His dissertation Machine Learning Algorithms for Smart Electricity Markets uses computer simulations driven by real data from electricity markets.

A particularly innovative element is the idea of ‘competitive benchmarking’ in which international research groups compete against each other to solve problems. Peters uses data generated by pegging electricity trading strategies devised by a dozen international research groups in such a competition.

Markus Peters will defend his dissertation in the Senaatszaal at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Friday 13 February 2015. His promoter is Wolf Ketter, Professor of Next Generation Information Systems at RSM. Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Prof. Eric van Heck (RSM); Prof. Tom Heskes (RU Nijmegen); Dr Maytal Saar-Tsechansky (UT Austin); Prof. Patrick Groenen (ES); Dr Oliver Kramer (University of Oldenburg).

Dr. Markus Peters

Managing Director

Eductive GmbH

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