July 23, 2020

Jannik Haas was awarded the Boysen Prize for his dissertation on the energy system transformation

[Picture: DLR]

Dr. Jannik Haas was awarded the dissertation prize of the Friedrich and Elisabeth Boysen Foundation for his dissertation "Optimal Planning of Hydropower and Energy Storage Technologies for Fully Renewable Power Systems". The prize, which is endowed with 5,000 euros and was presented by Prof. Fasoulas, is currently the largest financial prize that the University of Stuttgart awards for dissertations.

The nomination

Haas was nominated by Prof. Wolfgang Nowak, Head of the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems (ISW) and PI in the Cluster of Excellence SimTech. Commenting on his reasons for the nomination, Nowak says that Jannik Haas "already had the scientific independence, networking ability, depth, breadth and impact before starting his doctoral project that is otherwise known from mature postdocs. With his persuasive manner and his competence, he encouraged me to join him in a topic that was completely new to me; energy system analysis and optimization". Nowak further affirms: "He raised the funds, he initiated the scientific visions. My role was that of a scientific mentor and a critical discussion partner. From the beginning, it was a collaboration of equals."

The Foundation

Every year, the Friedrich and Elisabeth Boysen Foundation awards a prize for outstanding dissertations in the field of environmental technology at the University of Stuttgart, the Technical University of Dresden and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, with special emphasis on engineering solutions for reducing pollutants, noise and energy consumption.

The dissertation

Dr. Haas is a research associate at the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems (ISW) and currently also at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). At the IWS he belongs to the group of Prof. Wolfgang Nowak. With his work he contributes to modelling, simulation, prediction and optimisation of energy storage systems. He systematizes the challenges in modeling and evaluating energy storage systems, analyzes trends in their modeling, synthesizes current storage projections, and then develops a new optimization approach for storage expansion planning. His optimization approach has an increased time resolution, increased accuracy in the representation of storage components at the national level, explicitly models the provision of services (energy autonomy, balancing power), and considers several competing objectives (e.g. cost minimization versus environmentally friendly operation of hydropower versus demand for new transmission grids).

His work is thus an essential and relevant contribution to the planning of energy system transformation and to a green and secure energy sector. A core publication of his dissertation has already received the Publication Prize of the University of Stuttgart 2019 (for the best paper published in 2018).

Abstract in Englisch

Greenhouse gas emissions need to stop shortly after mid-century to meet the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming well below 2°C. Fully renewable energy systems arise as a clear solution. To cope with their highly fluctuating power output (wind and solar photovoltaic), power systems need to become more flexible than they are today. Energy storage is one source of flexibility and is widely esteemed as a key-enabler for the energy transition. Hydropower often has storage, and can also help in this task. To assess how much energy storage is needed, expansion planning tools are commonly used. In general terms, they aim to minimize system-wide investment and operational costs, while meeting a set of techno-economic constraints. In the task of quantifying the need for energy storage, the present thesis makes four contributions, related to the overarching research question: how to plan the optimal energy storage mix for fully renewable power systems with important shares of hydropower? These contributions aim to assist the energy transition and to be relevant for energy system modelers, energy policy makers, and decision makers from ecohydrology, storage companies, and the renewable industry.

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